15/12/2011 15:59 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Prime Minister David Cameron Announces Trouble-Shooter Plan To Tackle Problem Families

Problem child Rex

Problem families are to be given their own one-to-one "troubleshooter" to combat truant, anti-social behaviour and parents with addiction.

Before you roll your eyes and say, "Haven't we heard all this before?", Prime Minister David Cameron says this time it will be different and has vowed to get rid of the "string of well-meaning, disconnected officials" that promise the world, but deliver little.

The PM's own personal promise, this time, is to turn around the lives of 120,000 families by 2015.

The Government says it will divert £448m from existing departmental budgets over four years to pay for a network of people who will identify families in need of help, make sure they get access to the right services and that action is taken.

It defines a family being "troubled" if they meet five out of seven criteria, including truanting children, parents with addiction and anti-social behaviour.

The troubleshooters will be hired by local councils and will report progress to Louise Casey, the newly appointed head of the Troubled Families Team.

Families who refused to cooperate could face benefit sanctions or eviction. In a speech in Birmingham, Mr Cameron said this intensive approach could "work wonders" and troubleshooters would "see the family as a whole and get a plan of action together, agreed with the family".

What do you think of this plan?


This will often be basic, practical things that are the building blocks of an orderly home and a responsible life," he said.


"These things do not always cost a lot but they make all the difference.

"And they will get on top of the services, sorting out - and sometimes fending off - the 28 or more different state services that come calling at the door.

"Not a string of well-meaning, disconnected officials who end up treating the symptoms and not the causes but a clear hard-headed recognition of how the family is going wrong - and what the family members themselves can do to take responsibility."