Representatives from Torbay Council were amongst a select few recently invited to join the Prime Minister, David Cameron at Downing Street.
The event marked the successful beginning of a partnership between central and local government which aims to turn around the lives of 120,000 troubled families across the country. Torbay Council’s Chief Executive Elizabeth Raikes and Safer Communities Torbay’s Community Safety Manager Kirsty Mooney were among those who attended.
Last year Torbay showcased its work with troubled families to Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles and Louise Casey, Head of the Troubled Families Team. Mr Pickles and Ms Casey visited the Bay and met Torbay's Mayor Gordon Oliver, councillors and officers at Watcombe Community Centre in Torquay to discuss the work that the council and its partners are doing to improve the lives of troubled families. This approach has been praised as an excellent example of early intervention work. They also discussed how central and local government can work together to tackle troubled families in the future.
The visitors also met key workers and families involved in Torbay's Family Intervention Project to enable them to find out first hand how the scheme is making a difference and what other measures could help turn families lives around.
Chief Executive of Torbay Council, Elizabeth Raikes said “We were delighted to be among a select few who were invited to meet with the Prime Minister. I am very pleased that the positive work carried out by our staff in developing and providing effective services has been acknowledged at such a high level.
“The Government is clearly placing a great deal of importance on early intervention strategies and it is encouraging to see that Torbay is already well placed to take this forward for the benefit of all of our residents.”
Torbay Councillor Chris Lewis, the Executive Lead for Children, Schools and Families,said: "We know there are around 365 troubled families in Torbay. It is only by investing in these families early on that we can prevent the escalation of family problems and the associated costs such as children entering the care system.
"We do have the some very effective projects running at the moment, but we are still developing and building on this good work. By putting in place more sustainable and efficient ways of protecting children we can provide an improved service to our most needy children, young people and their families so they receive quick and appropriate help and support."
Kirsty Mooney Community Safety Manager said “It was an honour to be invited to Downing Street to represent all the staff who work hard on a daily basis to support families living in our area to make positive changes to their lives”.
“Safer Communities Torbay is well known for its work around reducing crime in neighbourhoods but it also has two specific teams that work to support families with incredibly complex needs to change their lives for the better. The types of issues can include domestic abuse, parenting challenges, drug and alcohol misuse, mental health issues and poverty.
“Our teams explore the needs of every member of a family and give them the intensive support they need to make long term changes to improve their lives. Many of the families we work with are also involved in anti-social behaviour which can be unpleasant and distressing for the people living near them. By working with families we can start to reduce anti-social behaviour and improve the situation for other residents in Torbay.”
Notes to editors:
To find out more about Torbay’s Family Intervention Project please visit www.safercommunitiestorbay.org.uk/thefip.
Prime Minister takes interest in Torbay's families
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