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Family Intervention Projects

Volume 522: debated on Monday 24 January 2011

14. What funding her Department will make available during the spending review period for the implementation of family intervention projects. (35103)

From April 2011, funding decisions on specific early intervention priorities, including family intervention projects, will be devolved to local areas. The Department for Education’s new early intervention grant, worth £2.2 billion in 2011-12, will give local authorities the flexibility that they need to plan how best to use central Government funding for local services according to local priorities.

Earlier today, the former shadow Home Secretary, the right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden (Mr Davis), said that, without Andy Coulson, the Government would lack any idea about what the priorities of the general public were. I can inform the Minister that one of the major priorities for most of the general public is antisocial behaviour, and that family intervention projects are a proven way of nipping that problem in the bud. Can she guarantee that, even without the man-of-the-people guidance of Mr Coulson, important but low-profile projects such as family intervention projects will continue to be a funding priority?

I am not sure that the hon. Lady was listening to my earlier response, in which I said that the Department for Education had already allocated £2.2 billion for 2011-12. There will be almost £2.3 billion in 2012-13. I do not think that that suggests that we do not think this is important.

Does the Minister agree that, in the past, there has been far too much duplication in the public services, and that a more holistic approach would not only benefit families but save money?

My hon. Friend is entirely right. A great deal of money is spent on chaotic families, who, up to now, have had a series of agencies trying to help them. The move to a single key worker will save an enormous amount. The original estimate was between £250,000 and £300,000, but with a specially allocated key worker and early intervention, the cost could be as low as £14,000.