‘Troubled families’ Themed Section of Social Policy and Society

A themed section of the journal Social Policy and Society, examining the Troubled Families Programme is being published online in the coming weeks.

Three of the articles (by John Welshman, Andrew Sayer, and Michael Lambert and myself) have been published already – https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/social-policy-and-society/firstview – and four more (from John Macnicol, Alex Nunn and Daniela Tepe-Belfrage, Sue Bond-Taylor, and Aniela Wenham) will be published in the coming weeks.

Best wishes,


Second phase of the Troubled Families Programme to be even more successful than the first

An interesting discussion took place in the House of Lord yesterday, around the leaked report of the evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme.  Lord Bourne, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, got quite a hard time and had to clarify his remark that ‘the government was working on the report’ and claimed that the delay in publishing the report was because the government had to ‘to ensure that all the statistics and data are properly assessed’. The government has had the report for over 12 months now.

Whilst Lord Bourne was understandably reluctant to comment on the leaked report, which suggested that the first phase of the programme had ‘no discernible impact’ on many of the issues (crime, anti-social behaviour, worklessness, education attendance and exclusion) it was supposed to be targeting, he showed no such reticence in predicting that the second phase of the programme would be even more successful than the first. Stating that the government had ‘learned some of the lessons from the first programme’, he concluded the debate with the following statement:

I believe that the first programme was a success and the second will be even more successful.



‘Looking for trouble’? The role of the voluntary sector in the Troubled Families Programme


‘Looking for trouble?’
The role of the voluntary sector in the Troubled  Families Programme

The government’s Troubled Families Programme is one of the most high-profile and contentious social policies in recent years. Although it is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government and administered by local authorities, the voluntary sector has played a key role at various points in its development and implementation. This paper adopts a critical stance and examines, for example, the role of the voluntary sector in: promoting previous constructions of ‘an underclass’; the development of the ‘family intervention’ model in a voluntary sector project in Dundee; providing enthusiastic support for the Troubled Families Programme despite numerous criticisms of it.

Thursday 29th September 2016, 3PM-5PM
Room 035, Lipman Building, Northumbria University
All welcome, please book at Eventbrite and visit our Facebook and Twitter accounts

The Q3 NETSRG meeting will by a special session led by Stephen Crossley.
Stephen is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at Northumbria University and a PhD student in the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University.