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500 Families from Hell in Wiltshire

January 27, 2012 5:31 PM

Plans to transform the lives of what the government calls "troubled families" have been announced. £450 million has been made available in a new drive to turn around the lives of 120,000 of some of the country's most disfunctional families by the end of this Parliament.
These families cost the tax payer an estimated £9 billion per year, equivalent to £75,000 per family. This is spent on protecting the children and responding to the crime and anti-social behaviour they perpetrate. Children from troubled families are 36 times more likely to be excluded from school and six times more likely to have been in care or to have contact with the police.

The Government has stated that there are 504 such families in Wiltshire, though they haven't said how they worked that out.
Most of the costs of the scheme will fall on Wiltshire taxpayers. The Government will pay "up to 40%" of the cost on a payment-by-results basis when the council achieves success with families. For the first time, the Government has outlined the goals and explained how success will be measured with the following criteria:
• children back into school
• reduce their criminal and anti-social behaviour
• parents on the road back to work
• reduction of costs to the taxpayer and local authorities.

The full detail of these arrangements is not yet available. The new programme will also fund a national network of 'Trouble-Shooters' who will be appointed by local councils. The trouble-shooters will oversee the programme of action in their area. Their responsibilities will include making sure the families are getting the right type of help, that sanctions are in place when needed, and that positive results are being achieved with the troubled families in their area.