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Children taken into care and custody and the ‘troubled families’ agenda in England

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  • Carol Hayden
  • Craig Jenkins
Children taken into care and custody are arguably the most vulnerable and problematic groups within the wider debate and responses developing to the 'troubled families' agenda in England. They represent what the state most wants to avoid when it intervenes in the life of a family. This article is based on an analysis of the service involvement and needs of the 196 children taken into care or custody over a three year period (2008-2011) in one city local authority in England. The research was undertaken to inform the response to prevention of entry into care and custody which was the original focus of the most intensive part of the troubled families programme in the city. Interviews with 10 senior professionals from a range of agencies involved in setting up this local programme, explored the way the emerging troubled families agenda was shaping ideas about the understanding of and response to the needs of these children and their families. Key findings of the study illustrate the range and complexity of need as well as the sequence and amount of agency involvement. Professionals were often critical of the thinking behind the troubled families agenda, but were positive and creative about new ways of working with these families.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-469
JournalChild & Family Social Work
Issue number4
Early online date30 Sep 2013
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • 2013Hayden&JenkinsTroubledFamilies

    Rights statement: This is the accepted version of the following article: Children taken into care and custody and the ‘troubled families’ agenda in England, Hayden, C. & Jenkins, C. 30 Sep 2013 In : Child & Family Social Work., which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1111/cfs.12095

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 708 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-SA

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