David Cameron introduced the Troubled Families initiative in 2011 to target families where there is no adult in work. Children are not in school or family members are involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.
The first wave of the programme focused on families where children were truanting or excluded, youth crime and antisocial behaviour. The second wave focused on families who are in debt. Also people struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, as well as those suffering domestic violence, mental and physical health problems.
The scheme saw a £4000 return to the council for every family’s situation they improved, however for the second wave the return was reduced to £2000 per family as funding cuts needed to be made.
The first three years had £448m to fund it, however only £200m was allocated for the programme in the current financial year.
The programmes intention is to turn around the lives of families in need, and it has seen success, however the reduced funding has put the programme under scrutiny. Councils are unhappy that their financial gain has been cut, thus there is less incentive to undertake such difficult work.
Social workers are involved in the programme and some reports to councils of families in need come from the police. The police report those where they are called to domestic incidents and children are present.