Don Foster MP


Foster’s call to fix troubled families answered with £450m fund

December 15, 2023 by admin in Don in Parliament, News

Don Foster MP has today welcomed Coalition Government plans to introduce a network of “family troubleshooters” to help turn the fortunes of some of Britain’s most troubled families.

In Bath & North East Somerset, Government figures estimate there are between 210 and 220 families living with complex needs. It is estimated that these families cost B&NES public services between £55 and £72 million per year.

Following public disorder this summer, Don Foster was the first MP to highlight the need to provide targeted support for troubled families in the Commons. Four months on and £450 million has been made available to turn around the lives of 120,000 of some of the country’s most troubled families.

Questioning the Prime Minister on the issue in August 2011, Don asked:

Mr Don Foster (Bath) (LD): Looking to the future, I note that far too many of the people-young and old alike-who were involved in violent and criminal behaviour appear to come from the relatively small number of totally dysfunctional families in this country. Does the Prime Minister agree that work to turn such families around is somewhat piecemeal, involving far too many agencies, too many targets and too much paperwork? Will the Government find ways of targeting resources more effectively?

The Prime Minister: The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right about that. We plan to spend additional money on the 20,000 most troubled families in the country, with more early intervention and much better co-ordination. So often with those families, we find that they have contact after contact with the authorities, but that it is contact with them rather than work to change behaviour and address problems. The problem is manageable. I know that there are 20,000 such families, and there might even be 100,000, but it is still a manageable number which we can deal with during this Parliament.

In plans announced today, a new Troubled Families Team based within the Department for Communities and Local Government and headed by Louise Casey CB, has been established to join up efforts across Whitehall, provide expert help to local areas and drive forward the strategy.

Commenting, Don said:

“I have long said that a lot of the problems in Bath stem from a minority of dysfunctional families. I am pleased that the government has recognised this and committed resources that will hopefully turn the lives around of many by the end of this Parliament”

“We must now ensure that this support is targeted to positive effect and that troubled families resolve their problems for good”