Scheme helps 633 vulnerable families in one year

child on stairMore than 600 vulnerable families have received help from a support service launched by Leicestershire County Council and its partners a year ago.

A team of 50 family support workers is helping vulnerable families to turn their lives around, reducing the need for them to deal with several different agencies.

The news comes as the Government praised Leicestershire County Council and its partners for running one of the most effective services in the country.

Known as Supporting Leicestershire Families (SLF), the service brings together the county and district councils, the police, the NHS and other agencies.

Ivan Ould, the county council’s lead for supporting families, said:

“There are vulnerable families out there who need help and who cost the taxpayer a lot of money. To reach 633 in our first year is a tremendous achievement.

“By working together in SLF, our agencies are offering these families a better and more cost effective service.”

One mother of four, who did not want to be named, was facing problems with benefits, debt and the behaviour and school attendance of one of her children, until SLF got involved.

She said:

“I’m now in full-time employment and my self-confidence is back – my kids are much better, too, attending school and on track to get good GCSEs.”

Councillor Maggie Wright, portfolio holder for Community Services at Blaby District Council, said:

“In Blaby District we have four family support workers who are providing this support to families, and over the last twelve months we have worked with 35 families.

“We have had specific success in improving school attendance of the children we are working with, as well as helping family members gaining employment.”

SLF is part of the Government’s troubled families initiative and started work in April 2013, building on the success of the county’s family intervention project.

In Leicestershire, vulnerable families currently cost the taxpayer £158 million per year, through benefits, health problems, care cases and other interventions from national and local agencies.

It is estimated SLF will eventually save £50 million, or more than £20,000 per family, by providing better, more targeted services.

For further details about Supporting Leicestershire Families see www.leics.gov.uk/supportingfamilies

For further details about the Government’s troubled families programme see www.gov.uk/government/policies/helping-troubled-families-turn-their-lives-around

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