‘I never imagined that was your life,’ an old flatmate once said. ‘You’re just so… bougie.’ Fair cop. If the government’s social investment approach had been around when my sisters and I were growing up, perhaps our family would have been identified as a target for monitoring and intervention. Teenage mother and gang father in the country’s poorest town — here is a ‘problem’ family. But this is an essay about why things were not as simple as that.