Key workers for antisocial families

Antisocial families will be given dedicated key workers from social work or housing to challenge their behaviour as part of 53 family intervention projects announced by the Home Office last week.

The projects, which were proposed in the government’s Respect action plan last year, will target about 1,500 of England’s most “badly behaved” families.

Louise Casey, the government’s Respect tsar, said the workers would have to be on call 24 hours a day to provide intensive intervention for families and help co-ordinate the involvement of other agencies. “This will be a new role that will require a new way of working,” she said, adding that key workers would be able to visit families unannounced.

Sanctions for families refusing help could include eviction and antisocial behaviour orders, although Casey said she believed the threat of these could be enough to change people’s behaviour.

At the most intensive level, families will be placed in 24-hour residential units where they will be supervised and supported. The 53 projects are going to be evaluated over the next year.

Government research on six pilot intervention projects last year found that complaints about, and risk of, antisocial behaviour ceased or reduced in most cases.

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Maria Ahmed

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