Troubled Families programme makes case for devolving more responsibility to councils

Report from London Councils argues the programme's success shows benefits of locally delivered interventions

The success of the Troubled Families programme, which has turned around the lives of over 11,000 families in London, should mean more responsibility is given to local authorities.

That was the message from London Councils, which this week published a report on the programme’s efficacy in the capital. Councils argue their successes have “shown clearly” the benefits of locally delivered programmes.

“Nationally commissioned providers are typically under no obligation to engage with local multi-agency teams and build on local practice,” the report states. “This creates a major barrier to providing wraparound support, with unnecessary divisions between services that need to work together more effectively.”

It concludes that, “the benefits of integration and personalisation can be realised” by services being delivered from a local level.

The Troubled Families programme, which has run since 2012 and been expanded to help 400,000 families between 2015-20, seeks to build wraparound support services for each vulnerable family experiencing problems.

Its financial goal is to reduce the £8bn cost of reacting to the problems troubled families experience, including taking children into care and placing children on protection plans.

Chair of London Councils, Mayor Jules Pipe said: “Councils are best-placed to tackle the complex issues families face. Their performance shows that local government has to be at the centre of efforts to tackle these complex and entrenched problems in the future.”

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