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‘Troubled families’ schemes underperforming
Date:5 DEC 2013

The National Audit Office (NAO) has criticised two governmental programmes. The programmes, which were introduced in 2012 by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), were designed to help families facing multiple social challenges.

The NAO has claimed in a recent report that the programmes' lack of success thus far is due to poor co-ordination between government departments.

The DCLG's  ‘Troubled Families' programme was devised to ‘turn around' 120,000 families over a period of three years from April 2012 to May 2015 with a budget of £448 million. The DWP's ‘Families with Multiple Problems' programme seeks to move 22 per cent of individuals attached to its programme into employment and move others nearer to employability. It has a budget of £200 million that runs from December 2011 to March 2015.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO said: ‘These innovative and ambitious programmes are beginning to provide some benefits but elements of both are underperforming.  This is the result of poor co-ordination between the departments when designing and implementing their programmes; and of the risks taken in launching the programmes quickly.' 

Responding to the government's announcement that the lives of 22,000 families have been ‘turned around,' Action for Children's chief executive Dame Clare Tickell commented: ‘For every child whose life has been transformed by the troubled families programme, there is another waiting for the same help.  We must not lose sight of the bigger picture.'

The full report can be viewed here (pdf).

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