Merton Council’s top performance in transforming the lives of many of its most vulnerable families has led the Department of Communities and Local Government to select Merton as one of the first boroughs to be part of its newly expanded Troubled Families scheme.
Merton is in the London top ten for helping families who are in the greatest need and one of the top 50 in the country.
Councils with the best performing Troubled Families teams will be given extra funding to help steer more children and families away from difficulties that they are experiencing.
The programme, which has been running since 2012, helps families faced with problems including unemployment, youth crime, anti-social behaviour and educational difficulties. The expanded programme will cover the same areas, but will also help families with issues such as domestic violence and those with a range of mental and physical health issues.
So far Merton’s programme has worked with over 300 families with over 193 classified as being ‘turned around’.
Merton’s cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Maxi Martin, said: “The council have worked really hard to help families dealing with difficult issues. This announcement shows our work is not going unnoticed, and by extending this programme more families will benefit from the help we provide. Our young people only get one chance at childhood and I’m delighted we have been able to help make sure that Merton remains a great place for our children to grow up.”
Feedback from a parent, whose family has been helped by the council, said: “Transforming Families gave us tools to divide our life and sort it, we have progressed and are on our way to somewhere at last, it has taken the whole world off our shoulders.”