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More Government help for 'troubled families'

There is to be a major extension of the Government's programme to tackle troubled families, Eric Pickles has announced.

The well-being of children under five will be the focus of the new push, as well as poor physical and mental health.

So far the intensive intervention scheme has targeted 120,000 families - now that will be increased to half a million.

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Troubled families scheme to 'focus on under-fives'

Under-fives will be targeted by the extension of the Government's 'troubled families' programme Credit: PA

A Government programme to help troubled families is to be extended, Eric Pickles has announced, with a focus on vulnerable infants.

So far the intensive intervention scheme, set up in the wake of the riots in London and elsewhere in England in 2011, has targeted 120,000 families - now that will be increased to half a million.

The programme will be expanded from working with school age children to include under-fives, and there will also now be a particular focus on improving poor health, which new data highlights is a particular problem in troubled families, with 71% having a physical health problem and 46% a mental health concern.

Work is due to begin in 51 local authorities, ahead of a national five-year programme getting underway from 2015.

Without intervention, troubled families cost the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds each year.

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