Top PDF National evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme 2015-2020: Findings

National evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme 2015-2020: Findings

National evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme 2015-2020: Findings

in the comparison group 0.8% 3.0% 4.6% Difference -0.3%*** 0.2% -0.7%** Discussion of results for juvenile offender outcomes The findings suggest that the programme is having a moderate, but positive impact on juvenile offending. Juveniles who had been on the programme were less likely to be convicted or to receive a custodial sentence in the two years after they joined the programme. However, they were equally as likely as the matched comparison group to be cautioned. This may suggest the Troubled Families Programme stops juveniles from committing more serious offences. It could also be the case that judges and the police may be more lenient with those in contact with the programme committing similar offences to those in the comparison group. As discussed above for adult offending, the qualitative work completed by Ipsos MORI suggests that local authorities and their partners were working differently with families to deal with offending behaviour which might be helping to reduce offending in some areas.
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National evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme 2015-2020: Findings

National evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme 2015-2020: Findings

Transformation is defined here as early intervention, focus on outcomes and data, whole family working and multiagency working. These are key enablers for achieving outcomes with families. There is evidence to suggest families at risk are being identified more proactively and can therefore receive support earlier. Case study research suggests that earlier in the programme there was a sense that services were still seeing too many families in crisis and that early intervention was not fully integrated into local programmes. There was a noticeable shift seen in this latest research where relevant work was being carried out by services together to identify the families that would benefit from the programme. The staff survey supports this. Eighty-six per cent of Troubled Families Coordinators said that the programme is fairly or very effective in achieving a focus on early intervention. However, case study research also indicates that the programme works with some families with entrenched behaviours such as substance misuse, domestic abuse and long-term unemployment and dependence on benefits. Overall, case study research suggests that the programme is driving earlier intervention by working with families before problems reach crisis but that many families on the programme continue to have multiple complex needs.
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National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme: National Impact Study Report: Findings from the Analysis of National Administrative Data and local data on programme participation

National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme: National Impact Study Report: Findings from the Analysis of National Administrative Data and local data on programme participation

A further issue which arises in relation to the sample of families included in the analysis is that only a subset of all local authorities operating the Troubled Families programme chose to participate in the study. Whilst more than one-third of areas supplied information on families that had been through the programme, it is in principle possible that there were systematic reasons why some areas chose to participate and others did not. There is, however, no evidence to suggest that this is the case, or to indicate in which direction this might bias the result. If, for example, local authorities that felt that the programme had been less successful were unwilling to take part, then the results might be biased in a positive direction (that is, towards overstating the impact of the programme). If we had found evidence of positive impact, this would be a concern; however, given the absence of such impact, it may be less plausible that such a bias is in fact present. In any case, it is important to note that the impact estimates here relate to the impact of the programme for a given set of families, rather than its average impact across all families that participated in the initial phase of the programme. It is also important to note that the data do not permit us to look at differences in impact between specific local areas.
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National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme: 
Final Synthesis Report

National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme: Final Synthesis Report

The evaluation also found a relationship between the intensity of the intervention provided and the number and range of issues reported by families. The families from the ‘more intensive’ sub-group within the survey appeared more disadvantaged than those in the ‘less intensive’ sub-group, and also self-reported having received a greater number of services as part of their intervention. Moreover, the survey and administrative data analysis seemed to concur that there was some front-loading of higher need families towards the start of the programme, whether or not this was by design. For example, the relationship between the intervention and the likelihood of children being in care after 12 months suggests that some local authorities had purposively selected families where the young person was at risk of being taken into care to avoid this negative outcome. The findings from the process evaluation also support the view that, whilst local authorities did not always set out to work with the ‘most troubled’ first, there was often an implicit
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National evaluation of the handyperson programme

National evaluation of the handyperson programme

Figure 3.3 Categories of additional staff employed Data source: First service provider survey: baseline 111 responses. Respondents could give multiple responses. Thirteen per cent of service providers indicated that volunteers were supported using the Part A Handyperson Programme funding, with the number of volunteers varying from 0.5 to 20 and only seven per cent of respondents told us that volunteers were trained using Part A funding, with numbers ranging from 1 to 17. These findings accord with the case studies interviews that the use of volunteers in the delivery of handyperson services is not well established. The primary reasons for not using volunteers was the time taken to recruit, train, and obtain CRB checks for individuals who may then not continue to be active volunteers for very long. Some providers felt it was something they would consider in the future if funding for services was constrained.
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National Evaluation of the Handyperson Programme

National Evaluation of the Handyperson Programme

Figure 3.3 Categories of additional staff employed Data source: First service provider survey: baseline 111 responses. Respondents could give multiple responses. Thirteen per cent of service providers indicated that volunteers were supported using the Part A Handyperson Programme funding, with the number of volunteers varying from 0.5 to 20 and only seven per cent of respondents told us that volunteers were trained using Part A funding, with numbers ranging from 1 to 17. These findings accord with the case studies interviews that the use of volunteers in the delivery of handyperson services is not well established. The primary reasons for not using volunteers was the time taken to recruit, train, and obtain CRB checks for individuals who may then not continue to be active volunteers for very long. Some providers felt it was something they would consider in the future if funding for services was constrained.
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Multiple needs, 'troubled families' and social work

Multiple needs, 'troubled families' and social work

Evaluative studies of the TFP (and FIPs before them) have provided qualitative and quantitative evidence on the prevalence of family problems (usually in the 12 month period) before and at the point of referral, including levels of service contact (e.g. Day et al., 2016; White et al., 2008). Further, there is now a large and growing body of work that has sought to critically examine the role of the TFP in supporting multiply disadvantaged families (Crossley, 2018; Davies et al., 2015; Hayden and Jenkins, 2014; Parr, 2011). Within these studies, there has been some attempts to understand multiple adversities from the accounts of families (Wills et al., 2017; Bond-Taylor, 2016; Bunting et al., 2015); better understand families multiple needs (Boddy et al., 2016); as well as their experiences of multiple service use (Morris, 2013). However, to date, our understanding of the complex realities of families’ lives including their contact and relationships with state agencies and interventions and, in turn, the nature of their support needs has been limited (Jupp, 2017). Indeed, the large majority of scholarly work on 'the family' has tended to focus on 'ordinary' families and, by contrast, there is limited research that focuses on those that are highly vulnerable (Morris, 2013; Wilson et al., 2012). This article provides important quantitative evidence to this emergent and necessary area of research focusing in particular on social care involvement. While the national evaluation of the second phase of the TFP (MHCLG, 2018) is one of the few studies that has collected data about child safeguarding problems in families referred to the TFP, the data reported in this article goes much further. In what follows, we present findings from a study that interrogated CSC data in considerably more depth looking not just at the number of families that have had involvement with CSC and the nature of that involvement but charting the number of referrals for each family. It presents a detailed examination of the histories and extent of families' social work involvement, and in so doing gives a unique insight into the needs of the most disadvantaged families.
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National evaluation of the Primary Leadership Programme

National evaluation of the Primary Leadership Programme

• Local authority- and school-level monitoring and evaluation information. The research was completed between May 2004 and September 2006. DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS • Pupil achievement – The main finding was that the key aims of the PLP had been achieved. With regard to pupil attainment in Key Stage 2, multilevel modelling showed that in both 2004 and 2005 PLP schools demonstrated greater progress in both English and mathematics than the comparison group of all primary schools not in the PLP. This effect was small, but significant, especially given the difficulties PLP schools had experienced in improving attainment in the previous three years. The qualitative data supported this finding: many of the interviewees reported a perception that standards of attainment were improving, and some gave specific examples in terms of pupil outcome data.
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National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme:
Families’ experiences and outcomes

National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme: Families’ experiences and outcomes

“We did it all together. No one wrote a plan and then gave it us and said ‘Right this is your plan and this is what we’re going to do.’ It totally came from us”. Mother The assessment, planning and review process was generally perceived as useful by families, and enabled individual members to focus and reflect – on their own and collectively. For example, one mother realised that the key worker could also help her personally rather than solely in her capacity of being a parent, as a result of having completed a support plan, which appeared to be something of a revelation to her. For another family, the key worker brought the different agencies together to develop a support plan, and the mother found the meeting useful as a result. Both the mother and daughters felt ‘less pressure’ because the plan mapped out what was needed of them and how the key worker would be involved. She contrasted this favourably to a previous social work intervention where the worker had visited on a more ad hoc basis, which put the family on edge. Six-weekly Team Around the Family meetings helped the family and services to see how things were going and chart progress. One daughter commented on how the plan provided a reference point from which the key worker’s actions were made more visible:
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National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme:
Process evaluation final report

National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme: Process evaluation final report

57 such as the Family Star 14 , and latterly the modified Family Star Plus 15 , alongside a wide range of more bespoke assessment tools designed to measure specific areas of family functioning (e.g. parenting skills and confidence, social and emotional wellbeing). In contrast to the more formally administrative function of the CAF of E-CAF, the Family Star was commonly valued for its emphasis on giving children and families a voice within the assessment process. This was also reflected in the subsequent action planning and review process. Despite the popularity of the Family Star and its visual representation of data for helping to validate progress with families, a number of local authorities had encountered difficulties using the format with some families during the early stages of the intervention. It was reported that families sometimes tended to overestimate their present abilities to cope, either because they were not yet in a position to recognise that some behaviours or routines were problematic, or because the relationship with the worker was a new one and the family was anxious to portray a sense of being in control. As a consequence, workers commonly found that the Family Star ratings worsened considerably in-between the early stages of the assessment and subsequent monitoring points. Troubled Families
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National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme:
Final Report on the Family Monitoring Data

National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme: Final Report on the Family Monitoring Data

3. At the point at which the family e its the service Closure’”), recognising that work may continue with some families after they have been turned around. As a number of family records relate to on-going cases, a further Exit’ time point has been generated for the purpose of analysis. This makes it possible to increase the number of families for whom it is possible to provide ‘change’ data over time with Entry as a baseline). Exit is calculated as Closure, but if Closure data is not available then Claim is used. DCLG selected this approach following conversations with local authorities which revealed that in some authorities Claim occurred after Closure, and after preliminary analysis showed that the proportions of issues were very similar at both time points.
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The Troubled Families programme (England)

The Troubled Families programme (England)

The right hon. Gentleman made a number of points on how we can demonstrate success and square the £1.2 billion with the £9 billion. He knows as well as anybody that this is notoriously difficult territory, because Governments of all types are absolutely terrible at measuring outcomes. We have made a start—he might have had an opportunity to look at the research—by looking at seven exemplar authorities and extrapolating the findings to produce some financial analysis. To answer his questions, I think that it is only fair to have that audited independently. As he will know, we are due to have a very comprehensive audit of the programme. 40
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The Troubled Families programme (England)

The Troubled Families programme (England)

The right hon. Gentleman made a number of points on how we can demonstrate success and square the £1.2 billion with the £9 billion. He knows as well as anybody that this is notoriously difficult territory, because Governments of all types are absolutely terrible at measuring outcomes. We have made a start—he might have had an opportunity to look at the research—by looking at seven exemplar authorities and extrapolating the findings to produce some financial analysis. To answer his questions, I think that it is only fair to have that audited independently. As he will know, we are due to have a very comprehensive audit of the programme. 42
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The Troubled Families Programme and the Problems of Success

The Troubled Families Programme and the Problems of Success

Time and flexibility This evaluation established that a valued aspect of the key worker approach to working with families was their ability to be flexible and spend time with the family. This was highlighted as important in beginning, effecting and even ending the work. For example, within the project evaluated, time was created by management for key workers to enable them to understand and make plans to address particular families’ specific needs. This tailoring of the service to the family is in contrast to other services that have a more rigid format and schedule which the family are required to meet in order to access them (Spoth and Redmond, 2000). This can be problematic where families are chaotic and facing multiple issues and crises. Additionally, lack of confidence, poor mental health and the sheer number of difficulties being faced made it hard for families to tackle often very small and straightforward problems. Many situations were complex and chronic, as one family member noted:
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‘Getting with the (troubled families) programme’:a review

‘Getting with the (troubled families) programme’:a review

been little evidence of a local reliance on sanctions to engage families. Bond-Taylor (2015) has highlighted the difficulties faced by keyworkers working with ‘troubled families’ who simultaneously attempt to resist the responsibilizing national discourse, which blames families for their own circumstances. Other research (Hayden and Jenkins, 2014: 642; Crossley, 2016) has highlighted how keyworkers have sought to reinsert the issue of poverty into their local practice, despite the topic being conspicuously absent from the national narratives surrounding the ‘root causes’ of the problems faced by ‘troubled families’. The extent to which local practice manages to trouble or subvert political discourses is, however, unclear and some practitioners are very supportive of the programme. These themes are explored further in the contribution by Nunn and Tepe-Belfrage in this edition.
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Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme:
Technical report: impact evaluation using survey data

Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme: Technical report: impact evaluation using survey data

domestic abuse/violence; sexual abuse). As noted earlier, the matching of the Troubled Families and comparison groups on all of the ‘matching variables’ available does not eliminate all possibility of bias in the Troubled Families impact estimates presented in this report. Any difference in outcomes between the two groups could, in principle, be due to other family or personal level differences between the two groups for which we do not have data on which to match. For instance, we cannot match on pre-programme levels of well-being. If the survey respondents in the Troubled Families group happened to have lower levels of well-being at the time they joined the programme than their matched comparison counterparts, then any observed difference in well-being between the groups could, in part, be a reflection of this pre- existing difference. Furthermore, the comparison group excludes families who ought to have been in the sample but could not be included for practical reasons, namely those who were known to be eligible around nine months earlier but whose outcomes improved sufficiently over that period to render them no longer eligible 7 . The assumption we have made in this report is that by having matched our two groups across a very wide range of variables, the possibility of there being any major biases in the estimates of impact is reasonably small.
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Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme:
Technical report: impact evaluation using survey data

Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme: Technical report: impact evaluation using survey data

A total of 22 Local Authorities expressed an interest in taking part in the survey. A short screening exercise was administered by the evaluation team with these Local Authorities to assess their eligibility based on available information about the projected numbers and profile of their families. A total of eight Local Authorities were assessed as not meeting the survey requirements by the evaluation team, whilst a further two subsequently withdrew due to concerns about time commitments. Of the remaining 12 Local Authorities, ten were recruited for the survey, with two held in reserve. The reserves were identified on the basis of having the lowest projected numbers of families. The final ten Local Authorities selected to take part in the survey were; Brent; Bristol; Gateshead; Manchester; Medway; Oldham;
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The troubled families programme: A process, impact and social return on investment analysis

The troubled families programme: A process, impact and social return on investment analysis

The assessment process in the Dundee project was a crucial aspect of identifying a tailored intervention package that addressed underlying issues that impacted on family lives and ranged across substance misuse, financial hardship, mental and physical health problems, violence, and parenting skills. The report findings noted success in this particular approach to tackling complex need in families and recommended a number of areas for further consideration. Crucial to success was the referral and assessment process and how this was understood and interpreted by agencies. Successful intervention required partnership work and sharing of information to provide support without duplication across agencies. The report additionally identified the need to further interrogate why families did not engage, or disengaged through the intervention. Key to success was the intensive intervention with families from a single key worker who, managing a small case load, could work alongside the family flexibly and negotiate access to services. Outcomes were measured in a reduced escalation of problems which although requiring further long term study, appeared cost effective in relation to social return investment.
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‘Making trouble’: a Bourdieusian analysis of the UK Government’s Troubled Families Programme

‘Making trouble’: a Bourdieusian analysis of the UK Government’s Troubled Families Programme

The chapter begins with a brief examination of a ‘preferred’ family worker habitus that can be traced through pronouncements from politicians and civil servants, and which is central to the operationalization of the TFP and the creation of a more efficient, less bureaucratic way of delivering state support or intervention to ‘troubled families’. The focus then moves onto the backgrounds, prior experience and trajectories of workers engaged with the local iterations of the TFP: how participants constructed their work histories, personal stories and reasons for entry into the ‘troubled families’ field. Of particular interest are the ways in which workers argued that their habitus ‘fitted’ the field. Examples of participants displaying a ‘feel for the game’, reconciling their aspirations with their position in the field (what Bourdieu called amor fati), and highlighting their own ‘troubled’ pasts, are all examined. Following this, the diverse practices of family workers, as articulated by them and their managers, are examined, with differences between their views and the sometimes simplistic portrayal of family work advanced by national actors also explicated. A concluding discussion section highlights both the disjuncture between the narratives presented by street-level bureaucrats involved in the daily life of the TFP and the national portrayal of that life by senior actors occupying positions in the field of power, and the strength of the ‘troubled families’ doxa that permeates the field.
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Evaluation of ESF/DWP families with multiple problems/troubled families initiative : a feasibility study

Evaluation of ESF/DWP families with multiple problems/troubled families initiative : a feasibility study

• processes by which providers select and target families to participate are known; and • how providers track and record progress is understood. 2.1 Services to be delivered by Contract Package Area The central feature of the programme offer is a key worker, who will devise a package of measures tailored to the needs of individuals and to families in relation to work. In one CPA, however, the key worker role appears to be performed primarily by a volunteer mentor. Despite this one example, a key worker approach appears to be a consistent feature of the programme across providers. Some services will be delivered directly by the key worker, while other specialist services will be brokered by them. The focus on tackling worklessness will be achieved through encouraging job entry or movement toward work. A crucial task is diagnosing barriers to work at both the individual and family-level, and tackling these through developing appropriate action plans. In most CPAs, key workers develop both individual and family action plans. In other areas, it is less clear whether both individual and family action plans will be developed, or whether the focus will be on individual plans only.
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