‘No significant impact' from troubled families scheme

A new report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research has stated that the Troubled Families Programme has made no ‘significant impact’.

Launched in 2012, the government initiative to help the most disadvantaged families in England was set up by then Prime Minister David Cameron following the 2011 riots in English cities.

At an original cost of £448 million, it was intended to turn around the lives of 120,000 of the most ‘troubled’ families, an aim the government claims has been achieved.

The scheme was extended in 2015 for a further five years, to cover another 400,000 families at a potential estimated cost of £900 million. Through ‘targeted interventions’, the programme supplies families with dedicate workers who teach better household management and control of children's behaviour. Councils are paid up to £4,000 for this work on a payment-by-results basis.

However, the report argues that the programme has had no measurable effect on school attendance, employment or behaviour - the areas it seeks to improve.

Using data from a quarter of the families taking part in the first stage, it found ‘a very small number of positive or negative results’, with the vast majority of impact estimates deemed ‘statistically insignificant’.