Support scheme for troubled families reaches 1,200 in Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire County Council has been awarded �1.2 million for reaching its Troubled Families programme targets. NNL-140730-154759001
Northamptonshire County Council has been awarded �1.2 million for reaching its Troubled Families programme targets. NNL-140730-154759001

A programme helping to get children back into school, tackle anti-social behaviour and support employment in Northamptonshire is to be extended until 2020.

The government funded “early help scheme” has been run by Northamptonshire County Council over the past three years, offering one-to-one support to more than 1,200 vulnerable families.

As the authority has reached its target for the number of families reached, it has been granted £1.2 million for the work in Northamptonshire.

The council has announced it is now working on phase two of the programme, which aims to reach 4,190 families by 2020 and which could attract funding of up to £7.2 million.

County council cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Heather Smith, said: “This project has resulted in some truly fantastic work with families in Northamptonshire who, for a variety of reasons, needed some extra help and support.

“These parents and young people welcomed the support and worked closely with their case workers to take this opportunity to turn their lives around.

“It is wonderful to hear young people involved in the programme are now doing better at school, not getting into trouble with the police and building better relationships with their parents and I look forward to extending this help to many more families across Northamptonshire with the next phase.”

The council has released a case study of a person helped by the early help programme.

The woman, who it has called Rebecca, was referred for help with her 14-year-old son and received support under the “family intervention programme,” run by Action for Children on behalf of the county council.

Rebecca, from Northampton, said: “He was causing a lot of problems. He had been permanently excluded from school and had just been arrested. I was at the point where I didn’t know what else I could do.

“Since last July we have been working closely with Emma from the family intervention programme and he has really turned a corner. He had a lot of respect for her and his attitude is completely different now.

“She’s also really helped me and together we’ve worked on some positive parenting. Instead of shouting and arguing with him, we talk to each other.

“He is now looking to go back to mainstream school and he’s doing brilliantly.”

The early help programme was funded as part of the government’s troubled families scheme.