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New report shows councils can save billions of pounds by intervening more effectively in problem households

Calculations by some leading local authorities show that councils can   save billions of pounds by intervening more effectively in problem   households. A Department for Communities and Local Government report,   'The cost of troubled families', published in January 2013 shows.

There is clearly a great number of needs and problems that sits under the term of troubled families, and many authorities have very successfully funded effective intervention through Supporting People commissioning.

It is estimated that nationally the 120,000 troubled families cost   the taxpayer £9 billion per year, £8 billion of which is spent purely reacting to their problems and the problems they cause, such as truancy,  youth crime and anti-social behaviour. Sitra has previously followed the DCLG funding for troubled families and the first year of this programme will come to an end at the end of March this year. This report provides some useful examples of schemes where it is working – and the tapering of the payment by results approach will mean that authorities will be even more concerned that their interventions create positive returns. Adam Knight-Markiegi from Sitra has investigated the lessons that the payment by results programme for troubled families offers to housing support.

» Read Sitra’s article - The trouble with families

» Read report - The cost of troubled families

Payment by results pilots: summary of progress

The DCLG published yesterday the summary of progress of the ten pilots authorities which are participating in Payment by Result pilots to test locally developed models for Supporting People services: Cheshire West and Chester, Stockport, Derbyshire, Sheffield, Birmingham, Islington, Lewisham, Kent, Southend on Sea and Torbay.

The evaluation is due to run until 2014. It is hoped that emerging lessons will be shared throughout the process, giving commissioners and providers a better understanding of Payment by Results through the experiences of others.

Sitra is involved with the pilots and other providers to ensure that the sector learns from these experiences and addresses the issues and risks raised by this approach. Our objective is to promote positive outcomes for clients and for those outcomes to be determined by clients themselves.

» PbR summary of progress (PDF)