Centre announces event on Troubled Families programme

Date: 
Tuesday, 18 October, 2016

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies announced today that it will be holding an event to discuss the origins, evaluation and prospects for the government’s Troubled Families programme on Friday 20 January 2017 in central London.

The announcement follows the publication of an official evaluation of the controversial government programme, which found that it had no measurable effect on on school attendance, employment or behaviour.

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has separately announced an inquiry into the Troubled Families programme.

At  the event on 20 January – Troubled Families: Origins, evaluation and policy context – Stephen Crossley, the author of The Troubled Families Programme: the perfect social policy?, published by the Centre in November 2015, will be joined by a range of experts in the field to take stock of the programme and discuss what the future holds.

Speaking today, our Deputy Director, Will McMahon, said:

I am delighted that the government has finally published this independent evaluation of its controversial Trouble Families Programme. It is hard to think of an independent evaluation, financed by government, that has been so damning of a government policy.

The question now is whether the Troubled Families Programme should have a future, or whether resources would not be better redirected to, for instance, evidenced-based local authority projects that support hard pressed families who have faced the hardest edge of the austerity.

This is one of the questions our event on 20 January will consider.

I also hope that the publication of the evaluation will assist the Public Accounts Committee in getting to the bottom of what is more and more looking like a scandalous waste of public money.

The money that has already been assigned to this lamentable scheme should be redirected to evidenced based local authorities projects that support hard pressed families who have faced the hardest edge of the austerity.

Stephen Crossley, author of The Troubled Families Programme: the perfect social policy? published by the Centre in November 2015 said:

The Troubled Families Programme was a bad idea, poorly executed. It was a poorly thought-out programme right from the start, and was based on a model of family intervention that, despite government rhetoric, was largely unsupported by any robust evidence.

The findings from the evaluation reports therefore come as little surprise.