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Around the mid-2000s, the Government started to develop policy approaches to what were referred to as “problem families.” Following a pilot programme in 2010, then-Prime Minister David Cameron, committed funding to “turn around” the lives of 120,000 troubled families in England by May 2015. The fiscal case for the programme (PDF) was based on expected savings made from reactive interventions, such as taking children into care.

The Troubled Familes Programme started in 2012 and had its ten year anniversary in 2022. It was refreshed and relaunched in 2021 as the Supporting Familes programme.

The Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 announced an increase in funding (PDF) so that by 2024-25 total planned investment across the following three years would be “nearly £700 million.” This funding is aimed at helping 300,000 families “facing multiple interconnected issues access effective whole-family support and improve their life outcome.”

Ten years of Supporting Families: Supporting Families programme Annual Report 2022-23 (March 2023) reported that since April 2015 to December 2023 a total of 534,961 successful family outcomes were achieved.

This paper provides information on the aims, objectives and achievements of the Troubled Families Programme and its successor, the Supporting Families Programme.

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