£2million project to help vulnerable families in Gloucestershire approved
4:40pm Saturday 7th July 2012 in News
VULNERABLE families in Gloucestershire will be helped to get off benefits, drink and drugs, away from crime and into work and school.
Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet agreed to provide extra support to up to 900 families in the county over the next three years.
Existing teams will bring in specialist support and work intensively with families where parents are out of work, there are issues with school attendance and one or more family members are involved in crime or anti-social behaviour.
Families experiencing substance abuse or mental health issues will also be a priority.
The Troubled Families programme will deliver an extra £2million in Government funding over three years, with a £1million bonus available for positive results.
GCC staff will work with partner organisations, including schools, the NHS, police, Job Centre Plus and the Probation Service, to identify the 300 families to be helped in the first year and ensure they get the right help from the right people quickly.
“Most of these families are already getting help...it is not always coordinated or intensive enoughCllr Paul McLain, GCC member for vulnerable families
Most families live in and around Gloucester.
Cllr Paul McLain, cabinet member for vulnerable families, said some of those to be helped were third generation benefit claimants, often poorly qualified and with a history of drug and alcohol misuse.
“Most of these families are already getting help from a number of different services, but it is not always coordinated or intensive enough and it’s not changing behaviour or turning lives around,” Cllr McLain said.
He said the aim was to help families to help themselves and contribute to their communities.
“This approach gives us our best chance of preventing history from repeating itself when children from these families become parents themselves,” he added.
The Troubled Families programme will run alongside other early intervention projects already helping vulnerable families to get back on their feet in the county.
These include the development of a specialist team working intensively with parents of children under five at risk of chronic neglect.
GCC is also working with Prospect Training Services and Job Centre Plus on a programme to help people from the county’s most disadvantaged families back into work, initially focusing on families affected by domestic violence.