Single parent? Attend the Jobcentre and get referred to social services as a troubled family. New trial at Ashton Jobcentre.

Yesterday I heard something very disturbing. A lady contacted me, she was very upset. She attended the Jobcentre for her signing on appointment and was confronted with something totally unexpected. She’s a very intelligent lady and thankfully she acted quickly and appropriately. She said hello to the advisor or job coach as they call them now. I don’t know why because they don’t coach you into anything except desperation. She’s been attending a mandatory work related course and had despite this completed all her Job searches correctly. The meeting then took a totally different atmosphere. The advisor suggested to her that she should be willing to get involved with a trial that they are running with Tameside Council. They are asking single parents   to be assigned a social worker and a key worker so they can keep an eye on her… The reason for this? Because they said she hadn’t been doing enough to look for work. This is shocking enough. Women have a raw deal of it in society especially single parents and of course this can mean single dads. They have bared the brunt of any change in government legislation and it looks like it is happening again. Not happy with this I decided to investigate further. I’m not ashamed to say this shocked me, even though I knew that they would soon be targeting families.

How and why are they able to do this you may ask? It’s all part of the troubled families wave 2 joint investment agreement. On the surface of it this seems like a good idea. Helping families until you read further. And read I have done. This was only agreed to do so why were they suggesting it yesterday?

The council have approved a new investment agreement approach to working with a minimum of 1,750 families. This won’t only affect single parents it will affect couples with children as well.Here’s their target figure, they have to reach this target. The government provides a fee called the attachment fee £1000 per family .Encouraging the local authority to engage with families, it then provides a result fee which is £800 per family, which is provided by the government to an agency who are working with that family. This agency it has been decided will be a local housing trust. New Charter Housing. They did not allow any other outside agency to apply and they made a special exemption for this.

They have also created new positions within the Jobcentre. They are called Troubled Families Employment Advisors as a result Tameside Council have employed two of these. They are classing single parents and couples with children  who aren’t in full time employment as troubled families if they fall into two caterogies on the list. This is very easy to do. For instance one category is being unemployed another category is having an illness or your child having an illness. If they agree to comply with this scheme they will be watched and monitored by social services and a social services case worker until they find employment. Because they are classed as unemployed and most likely in debt they will be classed as troubled. They will have to undergo interventions, either themselves or a family member will have to attend a voluntary placement, undergone training to improve their skill levels and placements that will last for 13 consecutive weeks. I must stress that they will be monitored continuously and will be dragged into meetings. There is no statement for a minimum age of the children either.

You are also expected to reduce your debt. How can you do this when the money that you do get just about enables you to survive? You are expected to make a measurable increase in your household income. You’ve got to be seen to be reducing your debt, again impossible. You’ve got to be seen to be able to sustain your housing and to make a positive move into more sustainable housing. You’ve got to show improved budgeting skills… not hard when you have no money. If you manage to pass all these measures then they will take you a step down from intensive intervention but will still be monitored.

This is wrong on all levels. They say this is a trial, but I’ve never known them to withdraw a DWP trial and I believe that they will make this compulsory in the next year or so. Classing all single parents as troubled families is very wrong and is discrimination at its worst. As a single parent myself I find this very scary indeed. Being forced to comply with these rules will be impossible for most. Poverty already controls the people that this will affect.

Who decided that this should be allowed in my local town? One councillor, the executive director of Governance, the executive director of finance and the Department of work and pensions. They haven’t considered the feelings of the local people and they have allowed this discrimination. Do you find this shocking? I do and I intend to oppose this as much as possible.

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127 thoughts on “Single parent? Attend the Jobcentre and get referred to social services as a troubled family. New trial at Ashton Jobcentre.”

  1. Oh my i find this more than shocking, its ludicrous, what right do they have to discriminate against single parents. what i would like to know is what happens if the single parents can not keep up with what the ludicrous request, do they remove the children from the parent. This is very very worrying. Why not put a star on their arm and have done with it. This is evil and beyond comprehension

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Re the mention of the star on their arms. I have actually been saying, and firmly believe it, that this “government” is not so far away from Nazism. Iwait for the day that they get fed up with unemployed people altogether and start camps for us.After all, the Nazis started with de-humanisation of Jewish people. These continuing assaults on the poorest in our societies are not really so far off that. Remember work makes you free? Or, as it is better known, Arbeit Macht Frei.

      Like

  2. Having read the pdf document related to this programme my understanding is that to be eligible each family must have at least two of the
    following six problems:

    1. Parents and children involved in crime or anti-social behaviour.
    2. Children who have not been attending school regularly.
    3. Children who need help: children of all ages, who need help, are identified as in need or are subject to a Child Protection Plan.
    4. Adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion or young people at risk of
    worklessness.
    5. Families affected by domestic violence and abuse.
    6. Parents and children with a range of health problems.

    Perhaps people need to be told about this – being unemployed on its own is not enough to be referred to this programme according to the documentation.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes the two categories are the out of work the health problems and risk of financial exclusion. The lady yesterday fell into only one category but they wanted to refer her.. The dwp are dishonest and underhand and will do anything to reach the targets required. Since when have they stuck to the rules? Never. The point is that this is wrong is discriminatory and will be used in the wrong way. Being out of work and having a touch of depression because of that will be enough to qualify you for this wonderful scheme. There’s nothing good in this. Never in my days did I ever think that I would see this. So if your child’s got asthma and your out of work this would qualify you. If you’ve got a child that needs help that could mean a learning disability and you are out of work this could qualify you

      Liked by 3 people

    2. It’s wrong and it’s very easy to fall into two categories. You have a touch of depression and you are out of work you qualify. Your child has to have help at school and your unemployed you qualify. Your child has an illness and your out of work you qualify. It’s wrong just wrong. This is a so called trial at the moment and you can refuse. Never in my days did I think that we would see this. It’s shocking and needs to be stopped

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Reasons 4 and 6 appear to be ‘catch all’ excuses for dragging people who are not genuinely ‘troubled’ into their net. Any unemployed single person with a mental health problem could be trawled into this scheme using those two pretexts..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, this is very interesting. I’m doing a PhD on the ‘troubled families’ agenda and it is supposed to be a voluntary scheme. I agree with your views on it – the criteria for the second phase of the programme means that pretty much any family that comes into contact with the state in a non-universal service can be classed as ‘troubled’. If I can help in any way, please let me know.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Any information or articles you are aware of relating to ‘the Troubled Families’ agenda that you think might be of help, would be very useful. As this is the subject of you PHD would be very interested in the research you are undertaking in this area, which must be vast?

      email loobitzh@gmail.com

      Thanks Stephen

      Like

    1. True, Rosemary, but many single parents also don’t have a choice. Many men (and it is more often men) still leave their partners and do not pay regular child support.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. There are not enough Social workers in this Borough to deal with the families who genuinely need help. The sooner this government goes, the better.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. A Classic Devide ‘n’ Conquer. They are creating yet another group to be ‘criminalised’ in the eyes of those that work, those that live the ‘comfy life’, I imagine to gain credibility with the voting members of society who scorn at having to fund the unemployed and unemployable and gloat at their own ‘well~to~do’ lifestyles.

    Surely this is quite outrageous and a breach of acceptability within our modern governance. It’s about time this country adopted a more socialist approach. FuK Central Government and return to the good old days of community self governance.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I was trying to find a link from a while back that suggested paying by results – eg even if school attendance wasn’t a problem they could claim success for a child from a ‘troubled family’ with good school attendance (and thus a fee) when there was never an attendance problem. It suggested cherry-picking would occur for fees. I cant find it, but I did refind this http://notthetreasuryview.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/government-continues-to-abuse-data-on.html which also took me to a more recent site – which gave me http://niesr.ac.uk/blog/troubling-attitude-statistics Not sure how reputable the site is,but is worth a look
    http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/trouble-troubled-families-programme this one includes “Alternatively, if only one adult in the family has moved from out-of-work benefits into work, the entire family has been ‘turned around’.”

    Like

      1. Yes!!! But we don’t see alot of true labour behaviour these days. They could have said no we won’t do this to our residents but they saw the money and thought hang on its a good idea

        Like

      2. Yes Lulu it is, but they are not responsible for DWP policies that’s the ConDem government. As I understand from Charlotte (the lady who writes the Poor Side Of Life blog that this article was re blogged from) the Labour councillors have been supportive of her actions

        Like

  7. I must admit to being jaded,cuts and more cuts,yet they keep pissing money away! A neighbor who is a single mom with 2 small children was assigned to MWA,the Provider of the placement got paid from day 1,but refused to pay in advance for a weekly bus pass,then denied part of the travel expenses as she was buying daily instead of weekly,the child care was paid by the DWP at a cost of £280 weekly and she still received her benefits,add up the 3 components and it was over £700 per week,so she could sort clothes at a Charity shop? Is it just me or is this about fiddling the figures regardless of the cost and of course the usual WP Providers keep getting paid,now she has been scheduled for 6 months of CWP,but they are unsure what she will be doing,so how can they assert that this will help her back into employment if they have not got a scooby?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Ladyfreebird750's Blog and commented:
    This is the most unbelievably sinister thing I have ever read.

    It amounts to removing any freedom for the families involved, Being poor doesn’t make a family troubled but I can guarantee that this ‘scheme’ will trouble many. Will we see families ripped apart with children forced into the system? Small children stolen and adopted out of their parents arms?

    It might sound like some far fetched plot in a horror film, but somehow nothing would surprise me. This government has worked tirelessly to malign and scapegoat the poorest, is the next step to totally remove the rights most people take for granted?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This is another sneaky tactic used by the DWP and the government to target impoverished families, especially those parents who suffer, or have children who suffer illness, hidden (not very well) amongst some reasonable sounding criteria such as anti-social bahaviour and lack of attendance at school. They know this is not the majority, the majority who will fall into two categories are the single parents who are out of work trying to bring up and look after their children the best they can. They will target the sick. “a range of health problems”… Now what exactly do they mean by this? If you have a cold? Flu? Mental health problems? Athsma? Diabetes? Chronic illness? What ‘range’ is this? Monitered for your own safety and well-being? Or is it to create more fear and anxiety for parents who are struggling? Will this program provide more financial aid? Will it provide people with food or accomodation in the event of crisis? NO! They will tell you to tighten your budget with what little you have because obviously we can’t afford to dish out anymore funding to poor sick people in our care. We can, however, supply a country with machine guns who are suffering due to a conflict created by our own government who passed sanctions and gave permits allowing private arms dealers to sell these weapons to these countries providing much profit for those private investors…an absolutely diabolic and abhorent state of the nation. We are ruled my war-mongerers.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. cut backs in social services all over the country means there is a shortage of social workers for those who really genuinely need them. yet they are going to use social workers for this diabolical scheme?? where are they coming from? are they people who were unemployed but with the right qualifications?or simply once again unqualified being made to do a qualified persons job,.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Reblogged this on Lindas Blog and commented:
    sadly these findings do not surprise me. The next step could be, when a family member chooses to say NO to this, they are sanctioned for not doing all they can to improve their chances of finding and getting into work.

    This is many things, but I believe its Psychological Abuse and Coercion. for starter to ‘Label’ people like this on a whim, in order to meet some target so as to make a profit is Immoral, and deeply disturbing. The harm and stigma this can cause a family is immense. This cannot be lawful….. Please read and circulate….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Loobitx – this is on reply to your comment to my post about residential training for ESA. (Because of nesting I couldn’t reply under that thread). Information quoted below is from the BASE site

      http://base-uk.org/members/news/dwp-seeks-tenders-specialist-employment-support

      The programme is called SES, Specialist Employability Support, tenders are out for start of delivery in Sept 2015. They are touting for bids from the usual suspects to provide a programme for people on ESA. The contracts are being divided by disability type, sensory problems, and “Pan Disability” which they define as:-.

      “Pan Disability • Pan-disability providers will be expected to meet the needs of all members of the customer group, including providing specialist support for disability groups with the lowest employment rates in other disabilities and characteristics i.e. people with autism, SES Start Back would be there to support customers who currently do not feel able to work, but could be ready to move to other provision and/or work, within a short defined period of time where support is provided to overcome discrete barriers mental health conditions or learning disabilities and those with sensory impairments” .

      The DWP document says:-

      . “Work Programme (WP) and Work Choice (WC), our biggest employment support provisions are due to end in April 2017. Work is currently ongoing internally to consider how these will look from 2017 onwards. Decisions have yet to be made with regards to this, but we see future Residential Training (RT) provision as being a part of wider mainstream provision rather than a small separate entity. ”

      RT is proposed to provide “support” in basic English and Maths, IT skills, and other requirements to bring people to the point they can be “handed over” to WP and WC. I think the following quote from the presentation made to potential bidders the contracts indicates the group they are aiming this at:-

      “SES Start Back would be there to support customers who currently do not feel able to work, but could be ready to move to other provision and/or work, within a short defined period of time where support is provided to overcome discrete barriers “.

      When looking at the topic above , “Troubled families” will cast it’s net to include disabilities and health issues as qualifying criteria, and so will seem to provide an additional stream to the providers from DWP in addition to the ESA group, especially as the DWP are including Mental Health issues as falling within the remit of SES. Plenty of cash to be splashed with the “service providers”, to overcome the problems exacerbated by poverty and insecurity and threats of sanctions on benefits, just like the Troubled family schemes.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. PS this move was based on a report from July 2013, covered with links by A Latent Existence.

      https://www.latentexistence.me.uk/work-camps-disabled-people-to-be-sent-on-residential-training-from-august-2014/

      The report states that RT should be considered for long-term unemployed;

      ” Increase numbers that use the residential element including reaching out to nondisabled people who are long term unemployed and would specifically benefit from the provision e.g. they would benefit from a holistic and intense approach. It could be more cost effective to increase numbers of RT trainees, as the unit cost of provision would then be driven down. However, costs overall may rise as an increase in referrals and trainees and a corresponding increase in successful job outcomes would attract extra payments. 2″

      And also

      “This could include a wide range of activities that enable someone to have greater autonomy and control over their life. For example, shopping, cooking and other household tasks, personal care, managing your own support (directing a personal assistant/carer for example), budgeting and money management. ”

      Well that just sounds like troubled family territory. They also cover using existing RT facilities for local referrals for essentially non-residential training mentioning the WP and WC as sources for these referrals.

      Like

  12. Problems 3 & 4 are the trap.. ambiguous wording not clearly defined means ANY unemployed single parent could be considered subject to these two problems given bedroom tax, benefit caps, sanctions because it was a thought for the day, Big brother has arrived.. not nanny state.. control of the unprofitable state.

    Like

    1. Yes, along with the CBT teams in the Job centre……and whispers of plans for “residential training” for those on ESA – plus, I should think any of these so-called troubled families with health problems.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Re whispers of plans for residential training, are you able to add any more detail to this suggestion? Because if so, we all need to get hold of it and pass it around…..

        Would be really helpful to us all. x

        Like

      2. @ Florence – It is bizarre. I concur with the comment that Social Services don’t have the resources to deal with their genuine clients at present. So how is this being done? Finding thousands of extra Social Workers? Where is the money coming from? Or diverting SWs from their real job?

        Like

  13. We all know what government “help” really means. They are about to get a hell of a lot poorer, and victims to a new body of bureaucracy, intent on nothing but finding justifications to strip them bare.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The truth here lies in the fact that all politicians of all parties have never challenged these Orwellian punishments against the population.Doesnt that ring alarm bells ?It means this government have managed to divide a nation just like Hitler did….but where’s the political opposition?Its feeble to say the least….When ordinary people say these politicians are all the same I used to think it an ignorant statement but these days I have to concede its true….If we can’t be honest with our citizens no matter what the circumstances they face then we might as well team up with North Korea……Where are the politicians who will stand up and be counted to just say this country is bankrupt of not only cash but morals as well…..and then do the decent deed and resign because our country no longer values the very people who vote in our so called democracy…I have a warning for governments no matter what they lie about…Revolution starts when the people have nothing left and then they have nothing left to lose”…read that whichever way you want.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I was a single dad on JSA a few years ago and my Job Centre Advisor said to me ‘I suppose you put your children first before getting a job’ to which I replied yes. I’d had to give up a 50K offshore oil rig job to take care of my boys.The next signing on time I was sanctioned because my job search was ‘too repetitive’. Even though I eventually won my appeal over the sanction I think this speaks volumes on how the DWP and Job Centres treat single parents.

    Like

  16. Yet more monkeys employed on the backs of the less fortunate, The council won’t stop at 1750, not when they get £1000 for just signing someone up for it, they must be rubbing their hands at the thought of all those lovely bonuses. Money being generated for the rich and the already well paid, instead of being used to create employment opportunities.

    Like

  17. Any single parent this is suggested too, MALE or FEMALE, should simply tell them NO and that any attempt to copy and paste, or forge, my signature on a document will result in a prosecution of the JC+ and you personally for compensation, minimum £10,000 plus costs, under the 2006 fraud act

    Like

  18. Getting ready to see who goes into the workhouses first! They’ve already decided that the disabled and the sick are a waste of resources so they’ll get rid of them, now lets see what we can do with the single parents and their kids…
    People have to be told about this and it also has to be shown that a hell of a lot of single parents are due to a partner walking away or due to bereavement, as most people see the words “single parent” and assume that they are all teenagers who are having loads of kids to get more money – you know I’m right about that.
    I’ll reblog and hope that others will reblog from me.
    How sick this government have been and how we need rid of them – I’d like to know if Labour would stop this should they get in next!

    Like

    1. Unfortunately, the Troubled Families agenda was set out by Labour in section 10 of the Children Act 2004 and it is still rolling out regardless of the change in government. I do not think there are any political solutions!

      Like

  19. Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    Please share this and make people aware that this is happening. It’s discrimination but this government don’t care at all – we also need to find out if Labour would carry on with this.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’ve just had the blog link banned from my Facebook page. How frightening is that? I dread to think what this Country is going to be like if we get another five years of this hell.

    Like

      1. It is sinister. They are trying to censor this news from getting out so that means we must double our efforts into spreading the news. They don’t want people to know about this!!

        Like

  21. I tried to share this with the councillors concerned. Facebook said that I couldn’t share it, it’s a security issue.
    I am certain that this will be news to most of them, decent people that they are. Can you imagine how frightened single parents must be?

    Like

  22. Apparently all parents who have elected to educate their children otherwise than at school are automatically caught by this….?

    Like

  23. Reblogged this on Psychim's Blog and commented:
    We’re back in the realms of “Cathy Come Home” here! All pervasive, government authorised “social services”, means-testing the right to exist reserved only for the privileged few! I’m seething!

    Like

  24. Councils budgets will fall steadily, from about £14 billion council grant in 2010, to a mere around £2 billion by 2020.

    Troubled families are the criminal fraterity that is a mere 100,000 families in the entire nation. They are not troubled, just ill employed, in various nefarious activities, as they have been for generations.

    This is back to the Tory / Lib Dem / Labour idea that the poor unemployed are skivers and of a criminal mind or some other problem, to be poor.

    This harks back to the 19th century punishment for the inmates of the workhouse, for committing the crime of being poor, old, sick, disabled, out of work, low waged.

    The most likely parties to get rid of the Jobcentre and the entire benefits regime that is just to starve the poor, as done a century ago, is for the poor to vote different.

    The parties of the poor are getting nil media coverage, because the poor now outnumber all other voters in the UK, but especially in England.

    Neither are they getting any postings in blogs of the poor.

    This is the Vote or Starve Election.

    Because this election will fail, with a second general election in 6 months, when all the experts predict a grand coalition of TORY / LABOUR.

    This might be why Mr Balls has said Labour will reverse Tory cuts nor disagrees with anything said in the last Tory Budget, that will cut tens of billions furthr from benefit.

    The parties of the poor will not form their own government, from a SINGLE party ruling UK parliament. This will never happen again for ANY SINGLE OR TWO PARTY COALITION ever again in the UK.

    The only way to form a majority government from now on, will be
    multi party coalition.

    A group of parties that reaches over 323-326 MPs , can rule in a majority in UK parliament.

    PARTIES OF THE POOR
    IN TORY AND LIB DEM MARGINALS

    The poor voter, in or out of work, however old, including poor pensioners and poor disabled, now outnumber all othr voters, in most voting areas in the UK.

    TRADE UNIONIST AND SOCIALIST COALITION (TUSC)
    is running 125 MP candidates, especially in England.
    6th biggest party running in general election, nil media coverage.

    MEBYON KERNOW
    Cornwall has single figure majorities of the sitting Tory and Lib Dem MPs with small amount of votes that got them into the job in 2010

    CLASS WAR
    Double dole and pension

    SOCIALIST GB
    The 1 Green MP due in Brighton Pavilions
    But Brighton has more than 1 voting area

    Brighton Kemptown
    Majority of voters are poor

    Socialsit GB candidate
    Jacqueline Shodeke.

    INFO / LOGOS OF PARTIES OF THE POOR / HOW ENSURE REGISTERED TO VOTE AT:

    http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

    Please share website on your Twitter, Facebook, and blogs.

    Like

      1. I had thought of voting for the green party but after in boxing them & commenting to them several times & emailed now about a specific topic which kind of relates to this post they have never replied, so on that basis & not knowing where they stand I cannot vote for them

        Like

  25. Reblogged this on Marilyn Munrow and commented:
    This is not only shocking, but its bordering on giving us a Big brother state. I know you are in UK, but here too, in USA this is happening time and time again. Take from the poor and not the rich. How the hell are poor people, especially with kids, surposed to go out to work full time, look after their kids and make ends meet, as well as getting debts down to a manageable level, with no help to do this? Disgraceful behaviour from governments who can assist people from other ehtnic countries, but not our own people. I am appalled and disgusted.

    Like

    1. In reply to MarilynMunro,
      Thanks for your support from the distant USA.
      We are aware of your plights too, as many of the draconian ideas being implemented here in the USA stem from USA policies etc…..

      Its good for us all to connect, power in numbers etc…..Please share your own USA experiences, as it may give us the heads up for what might be round the corner.

      Best Wishes to all our USA friends…..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think all western governments have the same draconian systems being put in place now, as you do sugar. Cuts in governments spending and increase of immigration means that we are all struggling to live, all except the extremely rich that is. Taxes are enormous, and living costs are increasing so much every day. Normal working people are having difficulty in making ends meet now. We are lucky in as much as we both have work, but as you probably do, it is harder to have any luxuries, even with two salaries coming into the condo. Sometimes you wonder what is next. We do carry on though, as what else is there. Best wishes to you all too sugar.

        Like

  26. This is just another ploy by the government & the child trafficking industry (social services) to get into families lives to tear them apart & snatch their kids, all paying themselves handsome wages out of tax payers money for the suffering of your kids at the same time.. Just Google social worker jobs for tameside a 1000 jobs in the Manchester area comes up, we are forever seeing more & more different adverts from fostering & adoption agencies, fosters are on between £450-1000 a week, face facts our children have become commodity, its kids for cash, people need to stand against this crime

    Liked by 1 person

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