Troubled families will be forced toaccept help in a programme to help save taxpayers' money.

Barnet Borough Council has already worked with central government on the pilot of the Troubled Families Programme, and will start delivering it from September.

It will work to support families with multiple problems, including parents or children involved in crime or anti-social behaviour and children who are regularly absent from school.

The scheme will also help families affected by domestic violence and parents and children with a range of health problems.

Figures obtained in 2012 showed troubled families cost the council and other public services in the borough more than £1.7m in one year. The worst example was one Barnet family that cost police, social services, prison services and the local authority £345,000 in just 12 months.

Reuben Thompstone, chairman of the children, education, libraries and safeguarding committee, said: “I am delighted that Barnet has been selected for the next phase of this programme.

“I believe that joining the work of all of the public bodies together with a family can help us get to the source of family problems and I am delighted that our good work in the pilot programme has been recognised in this way.”