Office of the Children's Commissioner annual report

The Office of the Children's Commissioner for England has published its annual report for 2011-12.

Listening to Troubled Families: A report by Louise Casey CB

Louise Casey, head of the Troubled Families Programme, interviewed 16 troubled families for this report that starkly describes the problems families face. The primary purpose of carrying out the interviews was to listen directly to families about their lives, the problems they have experienced and caused and to begin to understand the sort of help that will enable them to really change. Download the report from:

A framework of outcomes for young people

This Framework of Outcomes for Young People is designed to highlight the fundamental importance of social and emotional capabilities to the achievement of all other outcomes for all young people. It proposes a model of seven interlinked clusters of social and emotional capabilities that are of value to all young people, supported by a strong evidence base, demonstrating their link to outcomes such as educational attainment, employment, and health. It also sets out a matrix of available tools to measure these capabilities, outlining which capabilities each tool covers, and key criteria that might be considered in selecting an appropriate tool - such as cost or the number of users, and outlines a step by step approach to measuring these capabilities in practice.

The importance of Family Resilience

The Centre for the Modern Family has published a report on family resilience, looking at the role of the family in providing support and resilience to its members. Findings include: people are turning to their families for financial and emotional support; and that the financial downturn is dominating family life. For more information visit the Centre for Modern Family website: Visit the website at:

Intergenerational violence and abuse blights 'troubled families', says report

Intergenerational domestic violence, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, neglect and arson is blighting the lives of thousands of children, according to a report by the troubled families tsar. The research, which documents the experiences of 16 households involved in family intervention projects, is based on in-depth interviews conducted by Louise Casey, head of the government's troubled families unit. The report found that all of the "troubled families" questioned by Casey were suffering from multiple intergenerational problems. "We did not meet many families whose problems did not start in their own childhood, or whose children, or some of their children, were not now repeating the same patterns as their parents," it said. "Intergenerational transmission of problems such as being in care, poor parenting, violence, abuse, low aspirations, non-attendance in school and few or no qualifications was rife." Read more at C&YPNow:

The enemy within: 4 million reasons to tackle family conflict and family violence

New research from the national charity, 4Children, reveals the extent of conflict and violence in Britain's families. A survey of parents with children under the age of 18 carried out by YouGov on behalf of 4Children reveals that over half of parents with children experience serious or frequent conflict - which equates to about 4 million families with children in this country[1] (where families are defined as parents with children under 18 years of age). Only 7% of parents said there was no conflict in their home. 4Children's groundbreaking report, The Enemy Within, presents the full picture of conflict and violence within families. The report reveals the way in which children and parents can be both victims and perpetrators of family conflict - with the evidence suggesting that violence is more widespread within the family than was perhaps previously thought. The report highlights that children are overwhelmingly the victims: 950,000 children are affected by domestic violence, either directly as victims of violence, or indirectly in terms of witnessing violence.[2] Squeezes on household budgets area a key factor, with one in 5 parents (21%) reporting conflict over serious financial worries and debt. Find out more and download the report:

How is parenting style related to child anti-social behaviour

Anti-social behaviour is a major problem in childhood and beyond. More severe, persistent forms affect 5-10% of children in developed western countries and are linked to future adult crime, drug and alcohol misuse, unemployment, poor physical health, and mental disorders. A major risk factor is parenting style, in particular harsh and inconsistent parenting, which research has shown is associated with child behaviour problems. Other factors that feed into this directly and indirectly include domestic violence, parental drug abuse, maternal depression, family poverty, parents with low levels of education, stressed families and single parent status. This research report presents the findings from a study that examined the relationship between parenting styles and a range of family factors and child anti-social behaviour. The study examined in detail 278 families living in inner city areas who had children at higher risk of poor social and academic outcomes due to anti-social behaviour. The children involved in the study were aged four to seven.
Access the report here:

High Need Families Project

The High Need Families Project was one of a suite of projects funded by the Department for Education until March 2011. The programme is targeted specifically at the small but significant number of families with multiple problems, where chaotic parenting is likely to give rise to disruptive anti-social behaviour. The Helping Families Programme aims to improve the outcomes of children who live in some of the most complex and disadvantaged families in the UK. Children and families with such difficulties offer significant challenges to service providers and are the least likely to benefit from existing parenting programmes. Multi-stressed, high need families are particularly difficult to engage, retain and treat. This report provides an overview of the phases of the High Need Families Project, drawing together the lessons learned and describing dissemination of the Helping Families Programme to date. The report contains an executive summary.

Vulnerable Families

The Department for Work and Pensions has published the Social Justice Strategy, intended to help vulnerable families. It emphasises the importance of preventive services, and providing support and tools to allow people a second chance to transform their lives. Emphasises the importance of joint working, and looks at how public, private and voluntary sector organisations can work together to deliver intervention services locally. This Government's strategy for Social Justice is about giving individuals and families facing multiple disadvantages the support and tools they need to turn their lives around. The strategy sets out Government's strong commitment to this agenda. It focuses on exploring how we can tackle the root causes of problems to promote real and sustained changes in peoples' lives.
Download the strategy from: