The government is to review the funding model for the troubled families programme following previous criticism, communities secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed.
In a foreword to a report published yesterday on the programme’s progress to date, Mr Javid said a review of the current payments by results model was necessary to ensure value for money.
Mr Javid said: “Payment by results has provided a much needed emphasis on services achieving real, tangible changes with families rather than continuing with a host of disjointed and unfocused interventions that achieve little in the way of measurable impact.
“However, we need to be certain that this way of incentivising measurable outcomes for families will provide the sharp focus we now need on tackling worklessness whilst reducing parental conflict and problem debt.”
Councils currently receive payments in two parts, including £1,000 upfront for each family and a results-based payment of £800.
Last year the Public Accounts Committee concluded the government had overstated the success of the scheme. The PAC noted the DCLG’s evaluation of the programme highlighted problems with payments, as these incentivised councils to move families through the programme quickly to draw down funding “without providing the support necessary to tackle deep-rooted problems”.
Among a raft of recommendations, the committee recommended that DCLG should review the payment-by-results mechanism to ensure that this was not resulting in the quality of support provided by local authorities being compromised.
Former prime minister David Cameron announced a £200m extension to the programme in 2013 in a bid to support up to 400,000 disadvantaged families by 2020.