Louise Casey, head of a government scheme to help ‘troubled families,’ has defended the programme’s payment-by-results model and said she was “heartened” by the response of councils to the scheme.
Speaking at the annual conference of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Ms Casey said: “I have been deeply heartened by the responses in local government. There is not one local authority that hasn’t opened its doors to me.”
Ms Casey is the head of a £448m scheme, funded jointly by central and local government, that aims to work with 120,000 families that have a range of difficulties, including being involved in crime and antisocial behaviour, having children with poor school attendance rates and being out of work.
Asked by LGC about concerns raised at the same conference by Professor Eileen Munro about using a payment-by-results model to work with families with complex needs, Ms Casey said: “We have a system that broadly works for ministers, for the Treasury and for local government. The government made a big choice to support this, and money doesn’t come without strings.
“Councils get 80% of the money in year one, and it took some persuading in Whitehall to get that. Most people understand the big world we operate in.”
On the specific outcomes for which councils receive payments under the programme, which include getting an adult back to work, Ms Casey said: “Most people think having a job is a reasonable thing to do.”
Also in her speech to the conference, Ms Casey said: “Many councils know already who they want to target. We are absolutely happy for you to start with those families you are already aware of.”
LGC reported last week that at least one council was planning to sign up to the scheme to receive the 80% attachment fee but with no intention of working intensively with families in order to receive the remaining payment-by-results fee.
- To read LGC’s leader article on the government’s troubled families scheme, click here