Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 1°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Essex: Millions to be spent on helping troubled families

13:41 04 January 2013

Essex County Council's main offices at County Hall in Chelmsford

Essex County Council's main offices at County Hall in Chelmsford

MULTI-million pound plans to tackle the most troubled families in Essex have been revealed.

The scheme, which is set to be rolled out across the county this year, will target those families with children who are persistently absent from school, committing anti-social behaviour and adults who are in receipt of out of work benefit.

In Essex there are an estimated 2,200 troubled families which are thought to cost the public sector about £220m a year.

Essex County Council (ECC) say their Family with Complex Needs Programme is likely to cost £10,000 per family - a total of £22m.

The aim is to improve opportunities for disadvantaged children and reduce the overall cost to the county’s public services such as the police and the NHS.

Under the new proposals, central Government will contribute £4,000 towards the cost of each successful intervention and the remaining funding will come from local partnerships.

The first phase of the project will see four family solutions teams, made up of social and health workers, drug and alcohol specialists and housing officers, being established in four parts of the county, including Tendring and Braintree.

It is hoped they will work with at least 370 families by March.

The project will be expanded later in the year, with eight teams set-up around the county to target 180 of the most complex troubled families, such as those experiencing domestic violence and drug abuse.

The plans are outlined in a report to members of ECC’s Children and Young People Committee who will meet on January 7.

ECC’s cabinet member for children’s services, Ray Gooding, said the plans came out of work which was started by the council several years ago and is now running in parallel with the Government’s Troubled Families programme.

The Government is increasing local authority budgets by £448m over three years on a payment-by-results basis. Councils are rewarded cash for the number of troubled families who get their children to attend school or if an adult moves off benefits and into work.

Mr Gooding said: “While putting this project together we realised we can’t afford not to do this.

“We are really committed to this project because these sort of problems often go unresolved for years.

“We all know there are facilities there when things happen but we want to get in front of that and make sure families have resolved to deal with problems by themselves and not resort to assistance on a fire fighter basis.”

He said currently, the most complex families cost the public sector up to £100,00 a year.

Under the new plans, team members would work on a one-to-one basis with families and a volunteer programme would eventually be set-up to monitor and support families after they have taken part in the programme.

Mr Gooding said the aim is to have a family solutions team in every district by 2014.

0 comments

Ed Sheeran. Credit: Greg Williams

Ed Sheeran may soon be performing live on stage once more – hot on the heels of his latest album’s release.

The fire was caused by the sun's reflection in a bedroom mirror. Picture: Richard Wisbey.

An Essex couple have been left homeless after their house caught fire as a result of the sun’s reflection in a mirror.

Bridget Muttock and manager Alison Fallowfield, seated, with some of the home’s other long serving staff.

Carer Bridget Muttock has some heartfelt advice for anyone contemplating retirement in their 60s – don’t do it.

The Red Lion Hotel, High Street, Colchester, Essex.

A well-known hotel in the heart of Colchester has joined a range of other outlets in the town to be given just one star for food hygiene.

Colchester GV: High Street/East Hill bus lane

Campaigners are launching a bid to scrap a bus lane which they claim is forcing drivers to make dangerous U-turns at the bottom of Colchester High Street.

The George Inn, Wickham Market

The owner of a fire-damaged Suffolk pub has expressed his willingness to sell the historic building to a community group wishing to take it on.

The sunrise over Borley Green. Picture: Pamela Bidwell

The morning skies have been putting on a striking show of colour and light over Suffolk this week.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24