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The Troubled Families programme (England)

Briefing Paper Number CBP 07585 16th May 2016

Author: Alex Bate

Troubled Families is a programme of targeted-intervention for families with multiple problems, including crime, anti-social behaviour, mental health problems, domestic abuse and unemployment.

Local authorities identify ‘troubled families’ in their area and usually assign a key worker to act as a single point of contact. Central Government pays local authorities by results for each family they ‘turn around’.

£448m was allocated to the first phase of the programme, which ran from 2012-2015. Local authorities worked with around 120,000 families, and ‘turned around’ 99%.

As a result of this success, the second phase of the Troubled Families programme was launched in 2015, with £920m allocated to help an additional 400,000 families. The second phase will run until 2020.

The programme was championed in part as a way to reduce public spending on families who require support from multiple parts of the state. No formal analysis has yet been published on the extent of any savings from the programme as a whole.

The Troubled Families programme is administered by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and covers England only.