A support programme has helped turn around the lives of nearly 3,000 struggling local families – with the City of Wolverhampton Council rated top in the region for hitting its target.
The national "Troubled Families" programme has provided practical help, coordinated support and drive to thousands of families across the country over the last 5 years.
Locally, the council has worked closely with partners including Wolverhampton Homes, the police, health and education providers, the Department for Work and Pensions and the voluntary sector to support families to bring about significant and sustained change, reducing youth crime, anti social behaviour and truancy and putting parents onto the path into employment.
And latest figures show Wolverhampton has successfully met its target of supporting 2,890 families to turn their lives around between 2015 and 2020 – achieving praise from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for being top in the region in achieving this.
There are many reasons why people may require help through the Troubled Families programme. In some instances, family members are struggling with drink or drug abuse, have debt problems or poor job prospects, or parents are unable to control their children, leading to anti-social behaviour or ensure they attend school. In other instances, people may have been subject to or witnesses of domestic violence.
Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "The Troubled Families programme has had a tremendous impact on families in Wolverhampton who are struggling to function properly for one reason or another.
"The joined up approach, with a single key worker assigned to each family, backed by multi agency partnership work, means we can provide whole families with the wrap around support they need to tackle the issues they face.
"The agencies involved have worked very hard with some of our most under pressure families, and it's brilliant that we've now hit our 5 year target and helped give nearly 3,000 families a brighter, more prosperous future.
"This is not just good news for the families involved, but for the city as a whole as it is helping reduce youth crime and anti social behaviour, improve attendance at school and get more people in work. It will also reduce the burden on the taxpayer having to tackle the problems these families were facing.
“We are continuing the programme and expect to work with nearly 500 more families over the next 12 months.”
National evaluation of the Troubled Families programme suggests that for every £1 spent on the programme it delivers £3.79 worth of economic and fiscal benefits. The programme is also "driving a profound shift to the way that local services respond to entrenched problems and support our most disadvantaged families."
Nationally, councils have supported over 350,000 families to achieve successful outcomes, including 30,000 adults who were helped into sustained employment.