Rationalising family intervention projects

Sadie Parr and Judy Nixon

in ASBO nation

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9781847420282
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301493 | DOI:
Rationalising family intervention projects

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As part of New Labour's drive to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB), the UK government launched a ‘new approach to the most challenging families’ involving a national roll-out of 53 ‘Family Intervention Projects’ (FIPs) in January 2006. This latest ASB policy initiative, more commonly referred to by the media as ‘sin bins’, provides families who are homeless or at risk of eviction (usually from social housing) as a result of ASB with intensive support to address their often multiple and complex needs. Drawing on policy texts, newspaper reporting and rich data from a three-year qualitative study of six FIPs, this chapter explores the discursive field in which the projects are conceptualised. It examines the political rationality that underpins and shapes FIP policy and, in so doing, makes explicit the moral justifications that are employed, the way in which target families are problematised, and the presupposed distribution of tasks among governing authorities. After discussing governmentality and political rationalities, the chapter considers how FIPs are constructed in the media and by practitioners.

Keywords: New Labour; anti-social behaviour; Family Intervention Projects; media; sin bins; political rationality; governmentality; families; practitioners

Chapter.  6033 words. 

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