Apr. 7th, 2013

[personal profile] 7rin
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/apr/07/troubled-families-support-cameron

David Cameron has pledged to help 120,000 families turn their lives around before 2015. Amelia Gentleman gains exclusive access to three families on the list

Sometime after midday, Daniel Smith, 19, gets up from the sofa, where he has been sleeping beneath a grey, coverless duvet, and races upstairs to his mum's room, which is open because in a fit of unexplained fury last week he kicked the door off its hinges. The door is leaning against the wall, waiting for someone to fix it. He rummages through some papers on the windowsill and finds an appointment letter for a meeting with the Work Programme, the government's initiative to get people off benefits and into jobs.

When he sees the time of the appointment (11am) he swears and curses the programme officials because he has missed it. His mother, Estelle, who is lying on her bed in a pink leopard-skin onesie, looks at him kindly but doesn't say anything. Tara, the oldest of his three sisters, who is dressed and sitting on the bed, leaning against her mother's knees, stroking the family's black-and-white cat, says maybe he should call to try to rearrange. Daniel shouts that his benefits are going to be sanctioned and stamps downstairs in a fury, but does not make the call.

No one in the house is aware that the family has been placed on a list of the 2,385 most troubled families in the city where they live, Manchester; and among 120,000 across the country. Their key worker, Julie Cusack, is reluctant to tell them they are part of the government's troubled families programme, anxious not to alienate them unnecessarily. She tells them the council has decided to offer "extra support".

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