While we have many studies on social investment policies and their effects, we still know fairly little about the politics of social investment, especially in conservative welfare states, which provide the hardest ground for these reforms. What are the key conflicts in social investment politics? How do they intersect with compensatory welfare state conflict? Which coalition potentials exist? Based on a newly collected dataset, this contribution analyses actor configurations in German family policy reform processes since 1979. It shows that the development of social investment in conservative welfare regimes can only be understood if we conceptualize its politics in a multidimensional space. Income protection and social investment can be, and oftentimes are, two distinct conflict lines. Hence, political exchange and ambiguous agreements were conducive to a hybrid policy development: income support expansion coexists with social investment reforms. The findings show how a social investment turn can happen even in a least likely case.