11:00AM, Sunday 29 June 2014
A project to help vulnerable families in the Royal Borough turn their lives around is making 'good progress' in its second year.
The Intensive Family Support Project (IFSP) was launched in June 2012 and aims to support families with children under the age of 18 in order to reduce youth crime, improve school attendance and address parent unemployment.
It uses a clear framework of intervention developed specifically for families with complex needs.
The project has worked with 126 families in Windsor and Maidenhead, an increase of 83 from 2012/2013, helping to reduce levels of domestic abuse, anti-social behaviour, evictions and children's services involvement.
Cllr Natasha Airey (Con, Park), who is overseeing the project, said: "This has been our busiest and biggest year to date and we have been working with more families than we predicted so we're hoping to reach out to 170 families by the time the project finishes next year.
Cllr Airey added: "Our team is working with the messiest situations and it is a testament to them and the families that we are making good progress."
Workers involved in the scheme have experience in fields ranging from social care to housing and psychology to community safety.
While it is a Royal Borough initiative, the project involves a number of agencies including police, health and housing organisations, and is partly funded by the Government on a payment-by-results basis, as part of its Troubled Families Programme.
So far, the project has claimed for more than 30 per cent of the families worked with to date and is hoping to make more claims this summer.
Claims are dependent on families making sustained and significant changes over a six-month period.
Cllr Airey added: "We have had a couple of families who didn't want to engage with us but they have been the exception.
"Generally people are really grateful for the help which is making a difference in our community."
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