A COUNCIL says it is on course to transform the lives of 70 per cent of troubled families by the end of the summer, after winning Government praise for the initiative.

North Yorkshire County Council also intends to use its Developing Stronger Families strategy long-term as a model for transforming the day-to-day living of the most challenging and complex households across the county.

The county ranks among the top ten per cent of authorities in the country for the success of its programme and the authority is on track to meet its target of turning around 845 families by the time the Government programme ends in 2015.

The progress of the scheme means children are back in school where they were previously playing truant or excluded, high levels of youth crime and antisocial behaviour are down and adults are getting off benefits and into work.

The council said as a result, costs to public services and the burden on the taxpayer are being reduced.

Children's services executive member Councillor Tony Hall said: “This is not a nine-to-five job for our intervention workers, because families need support at weekends and evenings, the times when issues come to a head.

"No two days are the same in the mission to support families to do things for themselves, to bring about positive change and to maintain that change."