04/03/2013 02:42 GMT

'Troubled Families' Scheme to Get People Back Into Work A 'Success' Say Ministers

A government programme to help get people back into work and tackle problems such as anti-social behaviour is ahead of schedule at the end of its first year, ministers said.

The Troubled Families programme was devised last year to help 120,000 families across the UK by 2015.

After its first 12 months the government said councils had identified 62,000 families, more than half of the target and 50% more than they were expected to identify last year, the Department for Communities and Local Government said.

More than one in six of those families, 23,000, are now being given help through "intensive interventions" to tackle truancy, youth crime, anti-social behaviour and unemployment.

In January local authorities reported they had turned around the lives of 1,675 troubled families after just nine months of the three-year programme, ensuring children regular attend school and are not committing crime and that adults are in work.

The programme has been given a further boost with the announcement of a new drive that will see 150 Jobcentre Plus advisers who will work with councils to help get people into jobs.

They will give practical support in skills such as CV writing and interview techniques, and will put families in contact with local employers.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said: "The Troubled Families programme is on track, changing families for the better and reducing their impact on the communities around them.

"This programme is getting to grips with some of the hardest to help families in the country and in doing so will help bring down the costs they incur to the taxpayer and the damage they do to communities.

"But by including a real push towards employment for troubled families we will also help give a sense of purpose and aspiration to people who for too long have been allowed to fail by the state."

Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, added: "There are thousands of individuals and families in the UK living troubled lives blighted by crime, worklessness, and truancy.

"Helping them get and keep a job can be vital in turning their lives around, bringing improved structure and stability with increased aspirations and confidence."