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The Troubled Families Programme and the Problems of Success

Hoggett, James; Frost, Elizabeth

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James Hoggett

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Liz Frost
Associate Professor in Social Work


© 2017 Cambridge University Press. The Troubled Families Programme (TFP) is the latest example of a tradition of family intervention projects (FIPs) for which the evidence basis for success is ambiguous. However, research does suggest that features of such projects-for example, time and flexibility of FIP workers, afforded by relatively small caseloads-offer some benefits for service users. This article draws on an evaluation of a FIP delivered by a Unitary Authority as part of the wider TFP to consider such features and found similar benefits. The article frames the research in terms of the expansion of the TFP and the implications this may have for its practical successes. It concludes by underscoring that by extending the programme whilst reducing its funding the most recent round of the TFP threatens precisely the features previously identified as most advantageous.


Hoggett, J., & Frost, E. (2018). The Troubled Families Programme and the Problems of Success. Social Policy and Society, 17(4), 523-534.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 14, 2017
Publication Date Oct 1, 2018
Deposit Date May 26, 2017
Publicly Available Date May 26, 2017
Journal Social Policy and Society
Print ISSN 1474-7464
Electronic ISSN 1475-3073
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 4
Pages 523-534
Keywords troubled families programme, family intervention, time, flexibility, caseloads
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