by Nick Bailey
In July this year, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published the Listening to Troubled Families report with a great fanfare. Its stated aim was ‘to inform [government] thinking and policy development’. At its launch, Secretary of State Eric Pickles hailed the report as providing ‘real insights into these families’ lives’ and as offering a ‘true understanding of the challenges local authorities face’. The government had set aside £448 million to tackle the problems identified. In short, the report was portrayed as a solid piece of research driving an ‘evidence-based’ approach to policy making.