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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