Anything wrong with this speech?

Richard Garside
Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The head of the government's Troubled Families programme, Louise Casey gave a speech a couple of weeks ago to the Association of Directors of Children's Services. 'We should all be pleased with the progress that’s been made', she told her audience, 'going from less than 5,000 families in family intervention before the launch of the Troubled Families Programme to over 35,000 now being worked with'.

The speech has been criticised for caricaturing social workers. Writing in The Guardian, Tiffany Green argued:

'Casey said social workers collude with families and make excuses for children's behaviours. This is completely against the ethos of social work. We do not collude with families; we are engaged in partnership working with children and families to achieve positive and lasting changes.'

Casey has previously been accused of breaching ethical guidelines to protect vulnerable individuals while compiling a report last year.

The statistical basis for the claim that there are 120,000 'troubled families' is also more than a little shaky. Casey herself has acknowledged that the figure was drawn from research by the previous Labour government on disadvantaged, rather than 'problem', families. The government now plans to expand the programme to 400,000 families after 2015.

At the bottom of the page carrying Casey's latest speech is a message:

'Is there anything wrong with this page?'.

Apart from the speech? No the page looks fine.

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