Sam Clayden 20 October 2016

Troubled Families tsar defends programme amid controversy

Government officials have defended the Troubled Families programme under interrogation, rebutting claims it had ‘no impact’ and denying accusations that they ‘suppressed’ reports.

A government-commissioned assessment of the programme, officially published this week, had raised concerns that the scheme was not having the desired outcomes and described success criteria as ‘too vague’. 

But senior civil servants told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday that, despite improvements in 116,000 families, the problem was simply that it was difficult to prove ‘beyond statistical doubt’ that success could be ascribed to the programme.

Troubled Families tsar Louise Casey told the committee: ‘We are not suggesting this programme is a panacea for everything facing local government and austerity and everything else.

‘The question is, did we oversell and under deliver, and I honestly I think the answer to that is no.’

Whitehall was also criticised for claiming to have saved £1.2bn through the initiative.

For more on this story visit The MJ (£).

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