Tower Hamlets Council praised by government for work with troubled families

Secretary of state for communities and local government, Eric Pickles, says biscuit gaffe was fault

Secretary of state for communities and local government, Eric Pickles, says biscuit gaffe was fault of civil servant. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Tower Hamlets Council has drawn praise from Westminster for its work with some of the borough’s troubled families.

The nationwide Troubled Families programme, known locally as the Family Intervention Project, aims to help families with complex needs who cause trouble in the community.

Currently at the half-way stage of the three-year scheme, of the 550 families the council is currently working with, 150 have “turned their lives around”.

Positive change is already evident with more children back in school, decreased levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour, and adults from some of the hardest-to-help households back on the path to employment.

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Local Government, said: “I am delighted that across the country our programme is already helping half of our target of 120,000 troubled families at its mid-way stage and Tower Hamlets Council has turned around 150.”

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Troubled families are defined as those involved in youth crime or anti-social behaviour, have children regularly missing school or have an adult on out-of-work benefits, estimated to cost the public sector £75,000 per year.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman was delighted that the borough’s work had caught the attention of the national government.

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“These families have been struggling, and although they have many challenges they do want to do the best for their children,” he said.

“Helping these families is a key priority because it improves their lives and the lives of those living around them. Tackling their problems head-on also saves an enormous amount of cost later on.”

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