Duncan Lewis

Family Law

know matters can be both

highly sensitive and confusing

The government has decided to act tough against the problem families with ‘it’s not my fault attitude’.

Date: (11 June 2012)    |    

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These problem families numbering around 120,000 were not taking responsibility of their own lives which was causing chaos resulting in £9billion a year cost to the country.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has said that such an attitude be not be tolerated and there would be less understanding for such families and a new initiative by the government would try to bring down the absenteeism levels, end lifelong benefit claims and reduce the need for police call-outs.
Today he is to announce that England's 152 councils will be encouraged to take part in a new £450million scheme to confront problem families in their areas.
The payment-by-results programme will encourage local authorities to send out problem solvers who would deal with the families doing most harm to their communities.
Mr Pickles told The Independent on Sunday that the programme would be more forceful in language and a little less understanding.
He said those who should be categorizing, stigmatizing or put blame on people who were doing harm to the communities were shying away from doing it so.
The criteria to class a family as troubled by the government is meeting five of seven clauses.
They are low income, no one in work, parents with no qualifications, mother with mental health problems, one parent with long-standing illness or disability and if the family can't afford basic food and clothes.
The ‘payment by result’ would see councils getting £3,900 even if they can achieve at least 85 per cent school attendance for children from problem families, a 60 per cent cut in anti-social behaviour and if youth offending falls by a third.
If the council could get at least one adult from the family off benefits getting them to work for three months then the council stands to earn £4,000.
Mr Pickles said part of the problem was a no blame culture, he cited the song Gee Officer Krupke in the musical West Side Story where the trouble making gang members blamed their parents.
Mr Pickles said the previous Labour government tried to tackle the problem, but due to lack of political will and reluctance to lay blame their efforts fell flat.
The problem families identified by the Government are scattered around the country, with an estimated 1,760 in Bradford, 4,180 in Birmingham and 2,385 in Manchester.
The Prime Minister David Cameron first announced in December plans for squads of ‘troubleshooters’ to tackle Britain’s 120,000 problem families and help turn round their lives. The new policy will be overseen by the Government's Troubled Families Team which is led by former New Labour adviser Louise Casey.