Richmond’s incentives to support families has been praised by the Government and is now recognised as being a national leader.

The Troubled Families Programme is a targeted intervention initiative, that was set up by the government to help families who were facing problems and needed assistance in areas such as anti-social behaviour, truancy, crime, unemployment and mental health.

Every year Councils and local partner organisations across the country are given set targets within the programme that they must deliver on, and, in August 2019, Richmond was recognised by the Government as a borough that is dedicated to delivering this.

The Government identified 650 families in the Borough who required additional support.

The Council responded by referring the families to its ‘Achieving for Children’ and ‘Strengthening Families' programmes.

Cllr Penny Frost, Richmond Council Chair of the Education and Children’s Services Committee, said: “This service goes from strength to strength.

“The work that officers in AfC do to support some of our most vulnerable families is vital.

“Together with our partner agencies and the families, we are committed to helping turn lives around. We will not rest on our laurels, however.

"We will continue to support these families and others that are in need.”

The Achieving for Children Service (AfC) is a social enterprise aimed at providing children’s services and was set up by Richmond, Windsor and Kingston councils.

The Strengthening Families Service (SFS) falls under the AfC service and delivers the objectives that have been set by the Government’s Troubled Programme Service.

The SFS aims to support families facing issues such as poor parenting, unemployment, health issues, domestic violence, substance misuse and other family dynamic disadvantages.

It supports families by using local interventions and help ‘turn their lives around’ and includes getting children back into school, reducing youth crime and anti-social behaviour, putting adults on a path back into work and reducing the high costs these families place on the public purse.

Ian Dodds, Managing Director, Achieving for Children, added: “We are proud of the way our Strengthening Families Service has led this programme and worked diligently with internal and external partners and agencies to achieve such a positive outcome for Richmond residents.

“This demonstrates the commitment of AfC in delivering sustainable change for vulnerable families in our community.”