Graphic: Norfolk has a long way to go on ‘troubled’ families

Louise Casey, the official in charge of troubled families Louise Casey, the official in charge of troubled families

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
9:08 AM

Norfolk has a long way to go in
helping turn around the lives of its “troubled” families, a top Whitehall official has said after the county was left off a list of high-performing authorities where a pioneering initiative is being extended.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Click here to view the graphic

Louise Casey, who visited Norfolk in April, said that she had been worried about Norfolk’s progress on the flagship “Troubled Families” scheme, with the latest figures
showing that just 337 of the 1,700 families identified in the area had been “turned around”, and just five had met the government’s criteria for payment by results.

In Suffolk, which has also been missed off a list of high-performing areas, 255 of its 1,150 troubled families have been helped to the required standard.

Ms Casey, who was Tony Blair’s “respect tsar” under the last Labour government, and was appointed by prime minister David Cameron to lead the Troubled Families programme, said: “Norfolk has a very significant number of problem families.

“It is one of the areas that I think has struggled to get on top of the programme, but it is making progress now, and as of today they are working with 100pc of the 1,700 families.”

She praised it work with housing associations and for re-opening a family interventions project, but said that the county was “far from out of the woods”.

She said there were plenty of other “shire counties” getting to grips with the scheme, including Surrey, Devon, Lancashire, Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland. But she added the Norfolk had made “extraordinary progress” over the last six months.

“I think the thing that is so important is that we need to make sure we help these families so their kids
don’t grow up in circumstances where there is crime and domestic violence,” she said. “I don’t think any family is beyond hope or help. Some of the families we have been working with on the programme, the strides have been enormous. Even if they are not perfect by everybody else’s standards – the fact they have got kids back in school, crime is reduced significantly... an incredible achievement given some the things that these families have had to struggle with in their own past.”

Comment – Page 30

26 comments

  • John Bridge. My question was not hyperthetical but related to a real case. If the situation is not changed I can see locals inbforming the national media over this case. And where would that leave the local rag and their cosetting of NCC?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • Ingo Wagenknecht, perhaps disintegration of some families would not be such a bad thing.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    John Bridge

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • yes, many good points, but what do you do with those who, after having their many children taken away into fostering, because of utter neglect and abuse, and who should be prosecuted, well, who would be prosecuted in Gloucestershire, who then 'fall' pregnant again, evade justice and just keep popping them out? such fun to have children isn't it? And this is just what some do to their own kids, the harrassment of their locality, the disintegration of their family and the taxpayers paying for every episode in these people's life's have not even been mentioned.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • So Norfolk's success rate is less than 20% and if the payment by results figure is used there is next to no success at all. Why is this? Either the new regime is not working or the things were much much worse than we were led to believe. I suspect it is a combination of both, unfortunately many of those responsible for screwing up childrens services are still there.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    theanchovy

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • flatliner - Wise words indeed. But just how long does society carry on with plan A, which clearly is not working. In Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft we have hundreds of such families, whose behaviour is outside the rest of society. They have a myriad of social problems and can`t wait to have their children labelled with some form of learning difficulty so they can boost their income from the state and use it as an excuse for their children`s poor behaviour and attainment at school. But these parents are not so daft as they make out ast they know the benefits systems backwards and are quite well versed in the use of their smart phones which they use constantly. The irony of it! Unfortunately they can`t look after themselves or their off spring properly and I feel really sorry for the kids when they are dragged to school everyday by a mother who is more interested in her social media contacts on her phone than interacting with her children who are eating breakfast from a crisp packet. And when she does speak to her children every word begins with the F word. Welcome ot the 21st century. I somehow think we are going backwards, not forwards.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    BG

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • BG I agree it may be a price worth paying but its a very large price so it seems to me to make sense to at least try to turn things around first. Unfortunately many of the parents are really still children themselves and the mothers are as often as not the victims of serial abuse. Of course its annoying, frustrating, unfair and wrong that these people get more, much more, than they will ever put in. All I'm suggesting is we try to rise above those understandable feelings and support efforts to find a pragmatic solution to a problem no-one on this thread has suggested does not exist. Just had an email from the moderator - the reason my earlier post was censored was given as 'other' - that's a helpful pointer!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    flatliner

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • flatliner The cost of taking children away from these dysfunctional "family" units maybe a price worth paying. How else are you going to break the cycle of dysfunctional parents bringing up children ( I use that in the loosest term possible) who themselves will go onto be a copy of their parents. Many of these kids don`t know who their real father is and children born to the same mother often have different fathers. These adults should not be given a choice about which job they take on. If they are on benefits they should be told, "take this job or you get no money." Simple as that.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    BG

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • Pieman - I don't underestimate the stress living next door to a troubled family must cause but I would have thought you would welcome an initiative that aims to solve that sort of problem rather than simply leaving it to fester or pushing onto someone else. And, VoR, if they are low life then isn't it better to try to raise them higher up the evolutionary chain rather than push them still lower? Wondering if this post gets past the censor - the last one failed, probably not UKIP enough....

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    flatliner

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • I had the misfortune of living next door to a "problem family" for 5 miserable, loud and at times, scary, years. Trust me, if you've had to endure that, your views will change somewhat. But hey, the true victims in our society a rarely seen or heard...unlike these families.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    pieman77

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • 'Troubled families' - low life more like

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Voice of Reason

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • I'm with 'V' on this one I'm afraid. Broken parents colluding with their broken kids just jumping through hoops with the usual underlying lack of respect for authority so they can continues to sit at home all day watching the telly or playing on their consoles. Want to know why we have so many Europeans coming here looking for work? Because they don't have the same benefits structure at home - no job = no food and no roof over your head either. A bit of tough love required in many cases here...

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Fenscape 2

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • Flatliner, multinational tax avoidance has nothing to do with families who think they can run riot and leech off of the taxpayer. Bad behaviour is a direct result of leniency, benefit dependency is a direct result of the benefit system, do not complicate simple equations.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    John Bridge

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • It may also help to understand what happens with these problem families if intervention is not successful. Their children will be taken into care, they will no longer be eligible for most of their benefits and if in arrears will find it difficult to resist repossession proceedings. The point is that the system of early intervention is money well spent if it means child protection proceedings can be avoided. The cost of looking after a child in care is colossal, many times the cost of early intervention and, of course, if early intervention works its better for the families too. I agree that ideally people should simply do the right thing and get on with being good parents - more easily done if you had a good role model when you were growing up. I suppose it depends on whether you want the problem solved or the people punished. The cheaper route is to solve the problem even if this may not meet with everyone's sense of justice.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    flatliner

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • The current system allows these low lifes to Breed at the taxpayers expense,once you cut off there financial freebies you will reduce the problem for the next generation

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    dave123

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • hmmm... some interesting comments. Here's a thought that will hopefully inform the debate. Most working age benefits (i.e. not retirement benefits) are paid to in-work claimants. These are people who are trying to do the right thing but are paid less than a living wage - by companies like Starbucks who, having used our benefit system to support their business model, then ship the profits offshore and so simply take from our society and give nothing in return - other than overpriced coffee. Yes the benefits system is imprecise but are we really suggesting our first priority should be to put vulnerable, if poorly behaved, children on the streets rather than confront large scale systemic abuse by multinationals?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    flatliner

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • It’s the “softly softly” approach that has got society in to this mess in the first place. The benefits system was never designed to become what it has evolved in too, yet successive governments have been too lenient and allowed a growing class of feral & feckless people to become entrenched in these cycles of poverty, crime and blasé attitudes. We as a society now need to send a very loud message..."we care, but you need to care too. Fail us and we will fail you". It's our taxes supporting these people, so lets remind them of that. Three strikes and we start taking things away. You'd only need to make an example of a minority and I can assure you the majority would soon step in line.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    pieman77

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • UKIP IN CONSERVATIVES OUT!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    21

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • Metalhead you are missing the point, unless these problem families have the threat of their `comfort zone` {for want of a better term} being taken away they will never change.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    John Bridge

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • I agree with V. Everyone has tried the softly, softly approach for far too long and that hasn`t worked. Time noew to bring in punative sanctions and make this particular group realise that they need to wake up, get a job and start taking a more responsible outlook on life. Making them look after their council homes would be a start. But then don`t expect the Labour party to be wanting to support any real initiatives to tackle this problem as they don`t want to upset their core voters on the lead up to an election.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    BG

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • V, yours is certainly an interesting idea, but I would like to know how it would work in practice? We have 'troubled families' in a cycle of violence, crime, poverty and so on. By your reasoning, evicting these people onto the streets and taking away what little money they have will solve the problem. How does that work exactly?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Metalhead

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • John Bridge. I agree. The do gooders do encourage the cycle of "troubled families" otherwise they would be out of a job.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • Another set of dodgy stats. from this government of dodgy stats..

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • flatliner. Are the children (some but not all) innocent in all this ?. Some of them can be right little thugs and vandals as well.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • V`s comments are I feel the views of the overwhelming majority of people who are sick to the back teeth of do gooders who actually encourage the cycle of `troubled families`. This cycle will not be broken by kindness, children are not the innocents, they will grow up thinking they can be as troublesome and as feckless as their parents unless put in their place by authority.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    John Bridge

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • V - you've an idea, I;d suggest it's for others to judge whether its a good one. Your hard approach would simply damage the innocents in all this - the children. It may be unpalatable to support these problem families but unless the cycle of poor parenting is not broken then today's children will grow up to be tomorrow's problem parents.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    flatliner

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • Ive got a good idea. The council should be telling these so called "troubled families" to either get their act together or they WILL be evicted from their cosy houses and the benefits WILL be taken away from them. None of this 'fluffy bunny' approach any more. A hard approach is what is required.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 5°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT