A mum gave her daughter three ecstasy tablets as a 13th birthday present, a mayor has revealed.
Speaking to the BBC about problem families, Middlesbrough's Ray Mallon, said: "Many of these children are in care due to neglect because of poor parenting.
"There was one where a mother gave a 13 year-old child ecstasy tablets - you know, hard drugs - for her birthday.
Mr Mallon, 57, the first elected mayor of Middlesbrough – who was nicknamed Robocop for his zero tolerance of crime when he was a Chief Constable - was speaking about problem families in the northern town, which has 360 children in care.
He revealed one household was costing the public purse £600,000 a year to deal with.
"One family costs £600,000 a year due to numerous interventions by the council and our partner agencies."
The Government has set up its Troubled Families programme to help 120,000 households in England turn their lives around by 2015.
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