Multiple needs, 'troubled families' and social work

PARR, Sadie and HAYDEN, Carol (2019). Multiple needs, 'troubled families' and social work. People, place and policy, 13 (1), 29-41.

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Concerns about a minority of families have resurfaced in social policy at key moments throughout recent history. Whether these families are viewed as having ‘needs’ or ‘problems’; and whether they are seen as primarily ‘troubled’ or ‘troublesome’ shifts and changes along with the solutions put forward. This article considers the ‘Troubled Families Programme’ (TFP) in England as a contemporary response. It draws on research commissioned by a city local authority concerned with profiling key aspects of the needs of 103 families worked with in the early part of the first phase of the TFP. While research and policy have frequently underlined the multiple needs and high level of service involvement characteristic of these families, remarkably little is known about the lived experience of multiply disadvantaged families and the wider context of their lives. In this paper, we place the 103 families' circumstances within a temporal context by presenting unique historical data on their service involvement. We focus in particular on families' contact histories with Children's Social Care. The research presented in the article reveals an extraordinarily high level of involvement with social services across generations among the families referred to the TFP. The article argues that there is a need to better understand families' pathways through the life course and outwith immediate referral criteria. It also raises important questions about the respective roles for the TFP and social workers.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
Page Range: 29-41
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 08:48
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 03:19

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