Wednesday, 19 October 2016

AS Families & Households - the Troubled Families programme, 2011-2016

Often criticised for not doing enough to help families that need the most help, it now seems that even when they do try to help, governments just can't seem to get it right. So much so that an unfavourable report on the government's flagship policy, the Troubled Families Programme, appears to have been suppressed. Although the local government department denied that this was the case, it does appear that the government has been sitting on the unreleased report since the Autumn of 2015.

In the aftermath of the 2011 riots that occurred across the country, the then Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a speech on the 15th August 2011 in response to the riots and looting that had shocked the country during the previous week. Citing a 'broken society' and highlighting 'families and parenting' as some of the factors contributing to the breakdown of law and order, he put forward the idea of a National Citizen Service (a non-military version of military National Service) for all young people as a 'rite of passage' into adulthood. He also vowed to 'put rocket boosters' under the proposed Troubled Families Programme and promised 'that within the lifetime of this Parliament we will turn around the lives of the 120,000 most troubled families in this country.'

His Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government then went on in 2012 to put firstly £448 million, and then a further £900 million into the programme. Unfortunately this Troubled Families Programme was recently judged to have made 'no significant impact':

The apparently suppressed report was produced by a team at the NIESR (National Institute of Economic and Social Research), and a copy of it was eventually leaked and a copy found its way to the BBC.

The BBCs flagship Newsnight programme broadcast a segment on this issue on 9th August 2016 that you can watch here:

Chris Cook, Newsnight's Policy Editor, further analysed some of what went wrong with the Troubled Families programme in an 18th October article:

Jonathan Portes, one of the authors of the NIESR report, went even further in his own blog when writing about what he felt had gone wrong:

21st Dec 2016 Update: The Public Accounts Committee criticises the Troubled Families programme.

No comments:

Post a Comment