Social Work with Troubled Families
Release Date:21 Apr 2015

Social Work with Troubled Families

A Critical Introduction

Edited by Keith Davies
Jessica Kingsley Publishers

A critical introduction to the Troubled Families Programme (TFP), this book explores the roots, significance and effectiveness of troubled family approaches in social work.

An important strand of government social policy, the TFP gives rise to a number of ethical and political questions about assertive outreach, choice, use of power and eliding the structural inequalities which, it is often argued, largely account for the difficulties troubled families face. Social Work with Troubled Families: A Critical Introduction debates these issues, offers an examination of the systemic framework which underpins it and looks at the initiative in a broader context.

This interdisciplinary study will be an important resource for social workers, social work students, practice educators and academics for its examination of practice methods. As an exploration of social policy it will appeal to social scientists and to policy makers along with those who seek to influence them.

This book is a welcome and important contribution to the practice debate on what works for families in trouble. Outlining evidence of effectiveness in approaches to children on the edge of care offers a vital opportunity to intervene in "troublesome" families, achieving better outcomes for all. Clear, engaging and accessible, this book will help us all work more thoughtfully and usefully.

– Honor Rhodes OBE, Author of How to Help Families in Trouble

The Troubled Families programme is an initiative that invites debate - the name, the limited criteria, setting targets, being 'turned around', sustaining outcomes, payment by results, the debate will continue as the programme is expanded, cost benefits are calculated and services are transformed. This collection of articles draws together a range of perspectives some more academic, others rooted in practical experience, each in its own way contributes to that debate. The riots of 2011 and the need to cut spending on Welfare may have been the drivers for this controversial programme but even for the more sceptical the benefit of skilled delivery of whole family interventions and the positive outcomes experienced by those families are well illustrated.

– Jenny Spencer, Troubled Families Coordinator, Troubled Families Programme, Nottinghamshire County Council

Keith Davies BA, MSc, MRes is Associate Professor at Kingston University. He has many years of experience working with 'troubled families', largely as a practitioner in criminal justice. Keith has had articles published in The Probation Journal, The Journal of Social Work Education and the British Journal of Community Justice.
1. Introducing the Troubled Families Programme. Keith Davies, Kingston University. 2. A Provider's Perspective. David Holmes, Family Action. 3. The Troubled Families Workforce and Occupational Identity. Sadie Parr, Sheffield Hallam University. 4. The 'Family Recovery' approach to helping struggling families. June Thoburn, University of East Anglia. 5. Troubled or troublesome? Children taken into care and custody. Carol Hayden and Craig Jenkins, ICJS, University of Portsmouth. 6. 'Troubled Families': A Team Around The Family. Ray Jones, Anna Matczak, Keith Davis, Ian Byford, Kingston University. 7. International Perspectives. Nigel Hall, Kingston University.
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