BARNSLEY Council could be paid £4,000 for each troubled family it manages to turn around under a new government scheme.

More than 600 families who have been involved in crime and antisocial behaviour; whose children are not in school; have adults on out-of-work benefits; or are causing costs to the public purse will be targeted as part of the scheme.

For each one that gets their problems resolved, the council will be paid £4,000 which could earn it more than £2 million over the next three years.

The government will pay by results - which means the council has to tackle truancy, youth crime and antisocial behaviour, or puts parents on a path back to work.

The government estimates it costs £10,000 to 'turn around' a problem family and councils are expected to find the rest of the £6,000 per family to match fund the programme.

Families will get a key worker and specialist services to help work though their problems.

A spokeswoman for the council said: "Preparatory work is well underway, supported by two partner task groups which include representatives from South Yorkshire Police, family intervention project, South Yorkshire probation service, public health, the youth offending team, work and skills, and children and young people's services.

"The groups have met once to establish some of the early preparatory work on identifying the families."