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Supporting Troubled Families

Volume 615: debated on Tuesday 18 October 2016

I am pleased to announce the publication of the “National Evaluation of the first Troubled Families Programme” which ran between 2012 and 2015.

The programme was set up in 2012 to work with a minimum of 116,000 families with multiple and complex problems who had previously been failed by services.

This evaluation reveals the true scale of families’ problems, finding that families each had an average of seven serious social problems including issues of: drug and alcohol abuse; mental and physical health problems; domestic violence; debt; truancy; antisocial behaviour and unemployment.

Our own data show that more than 116,000 families on the programme saw their lives improve—more children attending school, youth crime and antisocial behaviour significantly cut and, in more than 18,000 cases, an adult holding down a job for three months or more.

The evaluation reports provide additional detail on how the programme benefited families. For example, in-depth interviews with the families found that they reported increased confidence as a result of the programme’s intensive “whole family” help, which they rated as better than the services which had tried to intervene before.

The evaluation also finds that the programme helped improve and join up local services for families by encouraging a single key worker approach to work with the whole family on all of its problems.

There are also important lessons in the reports that are being taken on board for the new troubled families programme which will work with up to 400,000 more families by 2020.

A copy of the report will be placed in the Library of the House and also made available on the website: