By Alison Little
SIN BINS FOR WORST FAMILIES
THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday.
The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.
They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.
Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction.
Around 2,000 families have gone through these Family Intervention Projects so far.
But ministers want to target 20,000 more in the next two years, with each costing between £5,000 and £20,000 – a potential total bill of £400million.
Ministers hope the move will reduce the number of youngsters who get drawn into crime because of their chaotic family lives, as portrayed in Channel 4 comedy drama Shameless.
Sin bin projects operate in half of council areas already but Mr Balls wants every local authority to fund them.
He said: “This is pretty tough and non-negotiable support for families to get to the root of the problem. There should be Family Intervention Projects in every local authority area because every area has families that need support.”
But Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This is all much too little, much too late.
Mr Balls also said responsible parents who make sure their children behave in school will get new rights to complain about those who allow their children to disrupt lessons.
Pupils and their families will have to sign behaviour contracts known as Home School Agreements before the start of every year, which will set out parents’ duties to ensure children behave and do their homework.