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Problem Families

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Problem Families

There was an interesting article in the Sunday Times yesterday focusing on work carried out by Louise Casey on problem families. Casey has uncovered up to 500,000 families and is currently working with 120,000 of the most serious cases. It is estimated that these families cost the country £30bn a year.
This is a staggering figure. A programme has been established costing £448m to tackle this problem. It's a slow job turning these families around but it is working. Each family turned round is a saving to the country in benefits etc.
Problem Families
The above link from the Sunday Times is paywalled but many of today's papers and radio/TV have also covered it. I will look for a fuller link to post later.
This is a delicate subject but hopefully any contributions can be of a balanced nature.
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Re: Problem Families

@artmo, Start of what hopefully is an interesting thread, agree it's a staggering number, be curious to put this into context and get the number of families (total) vs number of problem families by region.
ONS shows
Quote
In 2013 there were 18.2 million families in the UK. Of these, 12.3 million consisted of a married couple with or without children.
The number of opposite sex cohabiting couple families has increased significantly, from 2.2 million in 2003 to 2.9 million in 2013. The number of dependent children living in opposite sex cohabiting couple families rose from 1.4 million to 1.9 million over the same period.
There were nearly 1.9 million lone parents with dependent children in the UK in 2013, a figure which has grown steadily but not significantly from 1.8 million in 2003.
There were 26.4 million households in the UK in 2013. Of these, 29% consisted of only one person and 20% consisted of four or more people.
The fastest growing household type was households containing two or more families, increasing by 39% from 206,000 households in 2003 to 286,000 households in 2013. However multi-family households still only represent 1% of all households.
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Re: Problem Families

If they can actually target and help them it has got to be a real step forward
nanotm
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Re: Problem Families

it rather depends what they consider as a problem family though, the original description was those where two or more people had received an asbo or other conviction or where the police had been required to attend more than 3 times a month, then that was thinned down to where nobody in the household had held a job in the last 5 years
it seems they have widened the goal posts now though to include any household where nobody has had a job in the last 24 months and they have 2 or more kids....
by that rational my family would be on the list of target families for future project rounds despite nobody having received a sentence in court .....

it smacks of yet another porker with their snout in the trough ensuring that regardless of which party wins the next election they wont be out of a job ......
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
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Re: Problem Families

Quote from: Oldjim
If they can actually target and help them it has got to be a real step forward

Quote
It came as figures showed the troubled families programme  which she runs had turned around the lives of 14,000 of England's most difficult households.

If the programme has turned 14,000  families around so far, at £75,000 a family this is a major saving to the welfare budget. This is not a 'one solution for all' approach. Each family has an individual programme put together for them.
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Re: Problem Families

@nanotm
Can you provide a link for that as I haven't seen that reported
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Re: Problem Families

Quote from: nanotm
it seems they have widened the goal posts now though to include any household where nobody has had a job in the last 24 months and they have 2 or more kids....

From the BBC report:
Quote
The government defines troubled families as those that meet specific criteria in the following areas:
1. Under-18s involved in crime and/or family member involved in anti-social behaviour
2. Child excluded from school or is a regular truant
3. An adult on benefits
Where families meet two of the criteria but are "a cause for concern", councils can rule that other factors - including health problems - mean they are troubled families.
Source: Department for Communities and Local Government

If it can offer long-term solutions for the familes then that has to be a good thing but, surely, the family must want to change in the first place?

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Re: Problem Families

I notice there is mainly references to the savings on the benefit system etc
However what about the improvement on the families lives / health / well-being etc, has also got to be paramount (don't you think) ?Huh
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Re: Problem Families

Councils don't get paid by the government if the families don't improve. There are examples given in the various articles of families that have benefited from improved circumstances.
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Re: Problem Families

There is an interesting article by Jill Kirby in the mail today.

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Re: Problem Families

A very interesting and well thought out article. I would normally agree with every word she has said, but I also agree that something has to be done about the £30bn+ that is currently being wasted on these families.
If the work Casey is doing can bring these families back into normal society and save money from the welfare budget I think it is worth trying. It is, however, a long, slow process. It needs carefully monitoring to see the results and to decide if it is worth the cash being spent.
Only time will tell.
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Re: Problem Families

It's not just the welfare budget, that is affected
What about the resources of the police etc, that has been stretched over the years
I hope that all this hard work that Casey is doing will pay off & start a trend that will continue, as & when required
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Re: Problem Families

You haven't read the main article because it was paywalled but in the numbers Casey gives it includes under welfare such things as emergency services, GPs, Police, Social Care etc. The help the family gets is purely dependent on the needs they have. Some examples are requiring different type of help include:
One family triggered 90 Police calls to their home in 90 days.
One woman had visited her GP 226 times, used out-of-hours services 65 times, sought 18 secondary care referrals, visited a minor injury unit 12 times, had 4 trips to A&E, and called 999 4 times.
A 43 year old father of four had never worked.
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Re: Problem Families

Thanks for the update Smiley, & yes it was because it is paywalled Sad