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Troubled Families inquiry


Recent media reports have suggested that the Government's flagship programme targeted towards 'troubled families' has not had the expected, intended impact. An independent evaluation has been conducted which has reportedly found that programme has had "no discernible" effect on unemployment, truancy or criminality.

In 2006, the Government estimated that there were 120,000 families in England facing multiple challenges, such as unemployment and poor housing. It subsequently included other challenges, such as crime and antisocial behaviour.

The estimated cost to the taxpayer of providing services to support these families is £9 billion a year, spent either reacting to issues faced by families (£8 billion) or in trying to tackle them (£1 billion). In 2012, DCLG introduced its Troubled Families programme with a budget of £448 million to help the families concerned over a three year period. The programme was set a target against which its ultimate success could be measured. The DCLG's programme was intended to identify and then "turn around" 120,000 families in the period from April 2012 to May 2015.

DCLG's target was ambitious, as it required each of the 152 local authorities to transform the lives of an agreed number of families it has identified in its own area as meeting the definition of 'troubled'. Each local authority had shown a commitment to the programme's success and had signed-up to successfully working with a sufficient number of troubled families for DCLG to meet its overall target of 120,000 families.