Centre welcomes abandonment of Troubled Families Programme

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Our report arguing that claims of success for the Troubled Families Programme were ‘too good to be true’ was cited this morning on the Radio Four Today programme.

The programme also heard from Professor Jonathan Portes, formerly of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR), who said the controversial Programme had in effect been abandoned.

While at NIESR, Professor Portes was part of team that evaluated the Programme. They found that 'participation in the programme had no significant or systemic impact' on the families.

The Programme was defended this morning by Work and Pensions Secretary Damien Green. He told Today:

There are tens of thousands of families across the country who are in a better shape now than they were a few years ago because of the Troubled Families Programme.

When pushed for evidence, Mr Green explained that he has personally ‘met some’ of the families.

His comments follow the government’s announcement that it will spend £30 million on new initiatives to help resolve parental conflict over the next three years.

These initiatives will be directed towards not in work parents of some 1.8 million children, rather than the 120,000 families under the Troubled Families programme.

Our Deputy Director, Will McMahon, said

Whatever the merits of the new initiatives announced by Government today, we welcome the abandoment of the ineffective Troubled Families Programme. This is a triumph of evidence over ideology.

It is a pity that so much public money was so ill-targetted and wasted by a government wishing to be seen to be 'doing something' in response to the 2011 riots.

Our report on the Troubled Families Programme, written by Stephen Crossley, can be read here.