Government pledges £30m to keep families together

Troubled families are to receive support worth £30m over the next four years, children’s minister Sarah Teather has announced.

The 120,000 families targeted include those with health problems – including drug addiction – child behavioural issues and parents who have never worked.

The money will go towards programmes to prevent relationship breakdowns and funding Sure Start children’s centres.

In a speech to charity Relate today, prime minister David Cameron will set out his vision for a “much more family-friendly society”.

He will say the strength and stability of adult relationships are key to the well-being of their children and that government, businesses and communities need to do more to support families. He will say in particular, the government needs to help the most troubled families with targeted interventions.

“What works is focused, personalised support – someone the family trusts coming into their home to help them improve their lives step-by-step, month-by-month,” Cameron will say.

Teather said: “Government interference in family life is often unwelcome and usually unnecessary. But where there are unstable, vulnerable families the government cannot step away.”

As a first stage of this drive, the government said it would give local authorities new freedoms to pool budgets to help provide more joined-up solutions for troubled families.

There will also be new money for some local authorities through the early intervention grant to test innovative approaches.

The grant is not ring-fenced, however, and the way in which local authorities will use it has yet to been seen.

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