TWO hundred and fifty one families in York have received help to turn their lives around under a government programme dedicated to helping troubled families.

A total of 309 families across the city struggling due to unemployment and antisocial behaviour were identified as “troubled” according to newly released figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government as of December last year.

251 families were being helped in York through the Troubled Families work programme, a project designed to adopt preventative measures to help families break out of a downward spiral.

Yet despite a shortfall of 58 families failing to work with City of York Council to receive help as of December last year, councillor Janet Looker, cabinet member for Education, Children and Young People, said that the council had so far helped 110 families turn their lives around completely.

She said: “We’re making very good progress with the Troubled Families work programmed here in York with 110 families turning their lives around for the better.

“We are absolutely committed to maintaining and building on this momentum to support more families in the coming year, providing real and relevant opportunities for more families to turn their lives around.”

Families who show poor school attendance, parents who are reliant on benefits and levels of crime or antisocial behaviour qualify for the scheme which includes funding from the Early Grant Intervention and social landlords.

The council also works alongside local schools, health services and the necessary services within the council to ensure families get the help they need.

Across the East Riding Council area a total of 505 families were found to qualify for the scheme as of December 2013 with 346 were seeking help.

But figures showed a shortfall in the total of troubled families who had been helped across the region. Meanwhile 761 families in North Yorkshire including Selby and Ryedale were identified as troubled while just 417 were working with their local authority to better their lives.

Jon Stonehouse, director of children’s services, education and skills for City of York Council said that the council is working closely with the government to suggest ways in which the national programme can be improved in the future.

He said: “We are also working closely with colleagues nationally to feed back on the current programme and help shape the design of the next phase, so that it tackles the key issues and meets the specific needs of residents here in York.”