Blaming troubled families: Licensed to parent

Immediately after the riots in summer 2011, David Cameron echoed the question many observers had been asking: ‘where were the parents?’ Subsequent calls for an aggressive ‘early intervention’ programme to improve parenting among ‘problem families’ were welcomed across the political spectrum. It is now orthodoxy that what happens in a child’s first five years shapes them for life. So are there some people who shouldn’t be parents at all? Or is it not the place of the state to decide who are good and bad parents, and dictate what are the best outcomes for children? The experts raise the stakes in this illuminating debate filmed at the Battle of Ideas.