We idealise family life: we strive for perfection and hope that our homes will offer release from the strains of the world. But family life is not easy: working hours are long and caring for each other, children and perhaps older relatives is challenging. Most couple’s relationships flounder by the time their children are teenagers. And there are some families where the problems are deep and multiple: poor health, poor housing, a lack of good work, domestic abuse and more crowd in. In 2009 I started to work with a small group of families who felt locked out, vulnerable and angry. It led to a new approach http://www.participle.net/families The Life programme, developed with families supports those facing the most complex of problems, but the reality is that most of us could do with new forms of help and support.