‘Troubleshooter’ will help families in need

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THE council is to appoint an expert to help the 475 most troubled families in Calderdale.

It will be his or her job to ensure children attend school regularly, to try to reduce any criminal or anti-social behaviour and find work for parents.

The overall aim of the Government-sponsored scheme is to slash the £75,000 bill which councils and taxpayers currently have to pick up when dealing with each troubled family.

According to the Prime Minister, the state spent £9 billion on just 120,000 families last year.

“Our heart tells us we can’t just stand by while people live these lives and cause others so much misery. Our head tells us we can’t afford to keep footing the monumental bills for social failure. So we have got to take action to turn troubled families around.

“This immense task will take new ways of thinking, committed local action, flexibility and perseverance. But I know too that it’s a task we can’t shirk.”

David Cameron said he would not allow members of troubled families to be written off.

The council’s interim director of young people’s services, Stuart Smith, said: “These proposals will complement the work we already doing, looking at a single point of contact for families in receipt of multiple services.”

The Government has set aside £450 million to meet up to 40 per cent of the cost of dealing with these families but the payment to councils rests on achieving results.

Calderdale Council will help appoint a national network of trouble-shooters to oversee the programme of action.

Their responsibilities will include making sure the right families are getting the right type of help, that sanctions are in place when needed, and that positive results are being achieved with the troubled families in their area.