Doncaster scheme for troubled families rated UK’s best

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 16-02-15 MC 3
Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 16-02-15 MC 3

A scheme to help troubled Dearne families to turn their lives around has been rated as the best in the country.

Doncaster Council staff were praised for their work through the Government’s Troubled Families initiative in which they helped 870 families across the borough to improve their lives.

New figures revealed 100 per cent of those the council worked with managed to resolve issues with families involved in crime, who are on benefits and failing to benefit from educational programmes.

Doncaster was rated as the best-performing council in a league table of 56 local authorities nationwide.

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones praised council workers and partner agencies.

She said: “These figures show we are working hard to help people in our communities who may be struggling with issues including school attendance or finding work.

“This success is due to team work – the council, partners and the families themselves taking part have put a great deal of effort into making it work.”

In Doncaster 86 per cent of the families resolved their issues with education and crime.

The figure was up from 51 per cent in the previous performance table, published in October 2014.

In 14 per cent of the families a member of the household achieved continuous employment.

This is compared with 12 per cent in the October figures.

Doncaster also came first in the performance table for an additional criteria described as the percentage of families achieving progress to work. The figures show that in 49 per cent of the 870 families one adult in the household has volunteered for a work programme to help them get into employment.

Local authorities are paid up to £4000 by the Government on a payment-by-results basis for helping to turn around the lives of troubled families. Across the UK more than 105,000 families have benefited from the scheme.