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New bid to tackle problem families across Sussex
Hundreds of troublesome families are to be taught how to budget and behave by specially-trained coaches.
Brighton and Hove City Council plans to spend up to £2 million reducing the impact of misbehaving families in neighbourhoods.
The Government-funded scheme would see the authority work with 675 families a year by 2014 – up from the 100 its team of 22 staff are working with currently.
The families range from those whose children might have behavioural problems in school or with the police to those involving adults who have been long-term unemployed.
Family coaches can spend up to eight hours a week with families, working on solutions to routines, issues and behaviour.
Adults are also offered a range of parenting and self-esteem groups while more serious cases of antisocial behaviour are dealt with by community service.
Worthing Borough Council also plans to work with more families by taking on eight new staff.
The £700,000 a year scheme would help 64 families.
It is estimated that more than 1,100 trouble families live in West Sussex, including 341 in Adur and Worthing.
The scheme was launched last year aimed at targeting 120,000 families nationally identified as causing a significant number of antisocial problems, which is calculated to cost the taxpayer £9 billion every year.
Sue Shanks, chairwoman of Brighton and Hove City Council’s children and young people committee, said: “Our new team is already working with more than 100 families, supporting them to make positive changes which will also benefit the local community.
“This initiative would not be possible without the co-operation of our invaluable partners, including schools, the NHS, police, probation and the community and voluntary sector.”
Hangleton and Knoll Conservative councillor Dawn Barnett said that in her ward children as young as 11 were out roaming the streets and playing in parks until 2am.
She said: “I haven’t seen a big improvement up here yet. We still have the same problem families causing the problems all the time. All this pussy-footing around is not helping.”
Talking point: What should be done to help reduce problem behaviour? How should councils help families? Share your views by commenting below or share your view with Argus readers by writing in to the letters pages by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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