A scheme run by Oxfordshire County Council is turning around the lives of troubled families, placing the county among the best performing areas.
The Thriving Families project is part of a government initiative to directly tackle problems such as crime, anti social behaviour, poor school attendance and unemployment. It is has invested £1.6 million and is on course to secure a further £3 million .
Ian Hudspeth, Oxfordshire County Council leader, said: “It is quite clear that his scheme is working very well in Oxfordshire and the results we have seen in our county are a credit both to the dedication of our staff and the efforts made by the families themselves.
“What sets this scheme apart is the ability to engage with families as a whole and understand what is really happening so everyone involved can focus on working towards clear goals.”
New figures have shown the programme, in which a dedicated worker is assigned to each family to give hands-on support, has brought about positive outcomes for 279 of Oxfordshire’s most troubled families with real-terms improvements in these areas.
More than half of the 503 families the council has worked with so far have turned their lives around, making the county the ninth best performing nationally.
The families are assigned a dedicated worker from the scheme who acts as the single point of contact for the family. The worker liaises with other agencies to deliver an agreed plan of action geared toward achieving specific results.
Mr Hudspeth said: “This is not about stigmatising people or picking on deprived or disadvantaged families; this is about taking direct action to help these families overcome their problems and make positive contributions to society.
“It is obviously in everyone’s interest that these families take positive steps to get their lives back on track – whether that’s through reduced offending, better school attendance or working towards employment.”