More money to turn around troubled families in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

Councillor James Joyce.

Councillor James Joyce. - Credit: Archant

A programme to help 'troubled families' in Norfolk with education and employment, and avoiding crime and anti-social behaviour, has been given a £2.6m boost.

The Troubled Families programme, known locally as Norfolk Family Focus, is judged to have turned a family around if a child's school attendance has improved, the family are no longer on out-of-work benefits, or there has been a reduction in their involvement in youth crime or anti-social behaviour.

According to government data published this week, 1,409 of the 1,700 families the council is working with had been turned around by the end of last month, representing 83pc of the total. The national average was 90pc.

Suffolk and Cambridgeshire both recorded a 100pc success rate in the same period, but Norfolk County Council said its most up-to-date figure was 92pc.

All three counties have entered the second phase of the scheme, with Norfolk receiving an extra £2.6m to work with more families from April.

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James Joyce, chairman of the children's services committee at Norfolk County Council, said: 'Being accepted onto the second phase of this programme is a significant achievement for Norfolk because this time last year there was a phenomenal amount of work to do.

'It means many more families have seen their lives turned around and are seeing improvements in their living conditions, physical and emotional health and their children's education.'

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Louise Casey, director of the programme nationally, said that she was delighted by Norfolk's progress.

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