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More troubled families to get help

A further 400,000 troubled families will receive help under an expanded government initiative to get them back in work and education.

Communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles also announced the number of job specialists parachuted into town halls to help get troubled family members into work was to double to more than 300 from April this year.

The coalition scheme, which was announced in response to the 2011 riots in English cities, has so far helped 85,000 of an original 120,000 families with deep-seated issues such as unemployment, truancy, anti-social behaviour and crime.

A further £10m will be pumped into the scheme, which will now also focus on a wider range of problems such as mental health, debt and domestic violence, as well as families with children under five.

Mr Pickles said: " The Troubled Families programme works because it takes a tough love, no nonsense approach to some of the hardest to help households, but provides real practical support too.

"The success of the programme shows that we should have ambitions for everyone to work as part of our long term economic plan, reducing costs to the taxpayer but giving hope and a sense of pride and purpose back to families too.

"That's why I'm delighted that we are doubling the number of Jobcentre Plus advisers working directly in troubled families teams, putting rocket boosters under our plans to expand this brilliant programme."

The Government estimates 8,000 members of troubled families have held down a job for three months or more, a six-fold increase on the previous year, while youth crime and anti-social behaviour have significantly reduced and the £9 billion annual cost to the taxpayer of managing such families has come down too.

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith added: " With big falls in unemployment and record numbers of people in work, it's vital everyone gets to benefit from this country's economic recovery, no matter how difficult or chaotic their lives have been up until now."

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