The Troubled Families Programme: in, for and against the state?

Stephen Crossley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The Troubled Families Programme (TFP), established by the Coalition Government in the aftermath of the 2011 riots, set out to ‘turn around’ the lives of the 120,000 most ‘troubled families’ in England. When the rhetoric surrounding ‘troubled families’ is closely examined, a number of competing, and often contradictory, messages begin to emerge. This chapter examines the ways in which the Troubled Families Programme is positioned firstly by central government and secondly by local authorities and practitioners. Adopting a ‘street-level lens’ (Brodkin 2011a), interviews with managers and workers in one local authority area are analysed to examine ‘the complexity of interactions concealed beneath the apparent monotony of bureaucratic routine’ (Bourdieu, 2005: 140). The chapter concludes with reflections on the Janus-faced nature of the Troubled Families Programme and a discussion of its role in the crafting of a new ‘smart’ state.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Policy Review 28 : Analysis and debate in social policy, 2016
EditorsMenno Fenger, John Hudson, Catherine Needham
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherPolicy Press
Number of pages277
ISBN (Print)9781447331797
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2016

Publication series

NameSocial Policy Review
PublisherPolicy Press


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