Ministers commit £165m to keep Troubled Families programme running for another year
Ministers have committed a further £165m fund to keep the Troubled Families programme running for another year.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the funding would ensure the scheme, which was established in 2012 by former Prime Minister David Cameron, would continue for at least another 12 months after speculation it could be shut down.
Around £920m has been spent on the scheme since it was set up in the wake of the 2011 London riots, with nearly 300,000 vulnerable families receiving help with complex issues, such as unemployment, truancy and domestic abuse.
Concerns had been raised the scheme could be shuttered when the current funding plans came to an end later this year, but ministers said the programme had helped move one or more adults from 25,000 families off benefits and into work.
Announcing the funding boost, Mr Jenrick said: "The programme will help more people in need get access to the early, practical and coordinated support to transform their lives for the better.
"This is the right thing to do for families and for society as a whole, and these reforms will reduce the demand and dependency on costly, reactive key public services."
He added: "We want to build on the success of the programme in the coming year, delivering on our manifesto commitment to ensure we reach all those who could benefit from the programme - from the early years and throughout their lives."
The announcement comes after a 2016 review into the scheme found it had failed to boost school attendance or impact on employment rates, while former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said the project's targets were "slightly nebulous".
But the cash injection was welcomed by Anne Longfield, Children's Commissioner for England, who called on the government to make "long term and extended funding commitments" for the scheme in the upcoming spending review.