Nearly 600 families helped and national target smashed

A national target has been smashed by the Somerset Troubled Families Programme as nearly 600 families in crisis are helped in two year.

Government gave all local authorities a target to turn around the lives of 40 per cent of families identified as ‘troubled’ within two years. Somerset has beaten the target, turning around the lives of 580 families, 67 per cent of the 870 families identified in the county.

This success means that the Somerset Troubled Families Programme has been awarded £475,500 in ‘success money’, which will help the team support even more families.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “It is fantastic to hear that 580 families have been helped to move towards a more independent and satisfying way of life. This has been made possible because of the hard work and dedication of staff from Somerset County Council, District Councils, the Police, and a wide range of other public and voluntary sector organisations.

“The ‘success money’ will help us widen our programme even further and help many more families into healthier, happier, more fulfilled lives.

“Plus each family where we help to break a cycle of dependence on public services saves the public sector a huge amount of money.”

Anonymous Case study from Somerset Troubled Families Programme:

Mr and Mrs D’s son was frequently missing college. A Family Focus Support Worker worked with their son and the college to make sure he was enrolled on the correct course for his ability. The Support Worker also contacted the County Council to obtain a bus pass for the young person and work out a payment plan for the family. Plus the Support Worker made sure the young person had appropriate clothing and items and made links with a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who arranged for his start at college to be staggered.

SENCO said: “We have seen a remarkable change in the young person.”

His college mentor said: “The young person is a joy to work with and a completely different person from last college year.”

Mrs D said: “So happy to see my son enjoying college and doing so well.”