"Louise is not afraid of inflicting pain on troubled families"

Michael Cook
14 September 2013
Reproduced with Permission

Louise Casey, the head of the British government's troubled families programme, says that some mothers of large, expensive and troubled children should be forcefully counselled about using contraception.

The Coalition government is determined to turn around the lives of 120,000 wastrel families which cost the taxpayer £6 billion a year in benefits, crime, anti-social behaviour and health care.

Miss Casey told the Telegraph: "Having a baby might not be the best solution, and actually doing something just for themselves like getting a job, getting on a course, getting their health sorted out could be the right thing to do. The best family intervention gets into the family and helps them see what's the best way for them to go forward. Sometimes adding another child isn't right." She said that this intervention included social workers taking women to a doctor for contraceptive advice.

The local government secretary, Eric Pickles, says that the government's new approach has been phenomenally successful. The traditional approach taken by social workers had been "a lot of empathy" and "a lot of feeling people's pain".

The new regime spurns this. "Louise is not afraid of inflicting that pain," he said. "It's tough love. I think we're not doing this to be unpleasant to people, we are doing this to say you are ruining your life, you are ruining the lives of your children. If we don't do something now 25 years from now we'll be dealing with your children. That gives people a chance."

The average cost of a problem family is £15,000, the government says, but the most troubled have cost as much as £330,000 a year.