'Getting with the (troubled families) programme': a review

Lambert, Michael and Crossley, Stephen (2017) 'Getting with the (troubled families) programme': a review. Social Policy and Society, 16 (1). pp. 87-97. ISSN 1474-7464

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1474746416000385

Abstract

The commitment of the appointed Director General of the Troubled Families Unit, Louise Casey, that the Troubled Families Programme (TFP) was ‘an opportunity not to repeat the failed attempts of the past’ masks several enduring continuities (Casey, 2012: 3). This review article argues that the TFP should be seen as part of a wider spectrum of policies which locates ‘troubles’ or ‘problems’ in the family itself and emphasises behaviour as the target of action without regard to wider social or economic considerations. This policy process must be understood within a wider context of not only historical efforts ‘to constrain the redistributive potential of state welfare’ (Macnicol, 1987: 316) but also of contemporary forms of neoliberal governance of ‘the family’ (Butler, 2014; Crossley, 2016a; Gillies, 2014).

This article seeks to explore these interconnected movements, exemplified in the intentions and interventions of the TFP. First, we consider the longer history of the TFP as part of an ‘underclass’ discourse. Second, the more recent history of Family Intervention Projects (FIPs) in developing modes of family intervention is discussed. Third, we then discuss the implementation of policies in local authorities and the conflicting pressures workers and providers are subjected to. Fourth, the relationship of the TFP to wider coalition and Conservative government neoliberal policy measures and austerity priorities will be assessed. Finally, the TFP will be placed within an international context, pointing to larger developments.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L400 Social Policy
L500 Social Work
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Health, Community and Education Studies > Social Work and Communities
Depositing User: Stephen Crossley
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2016 09:15
Last Modified: 18 May 2017 11:44
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/27942

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