Official statistics on families receiving support from family intervention services in England up to March 2011 are published today. Also published today is an independent research report on the Family Pathfinder programme which was aimed at helping families who face multiple and complex social, economic, health and child problems.
Commenting on the statistics and research Tim Loughton, Children’s Minister, said:
Today’s statistics show an overwhelmingly positive picture of how intensive family intervention can successfully turn around the lives of families who have many complex problems, often present for generations within the same family. The number of families that had been supported by March 2011 almost doubled compared with the number supported up to March 2010. In addition the outcomes for families who left intervention are very encouraging with a 58 per cent reduction in the number of families involved in anti-social behaviour such as vandalism, alcohol related or rowdy behaviour.
Family intervention services provide intensive support to families with multiple social, economic, health and behaviour problems. Helping them turn their lives around, often in less than 12 months, is a great achievement when you consider that many of them are living with severe and long-term issues like drug and alcohol dependency, which can take years to tackle fully.
Over 80 per cent of local authorities have told the department that they have kept a family intervention service, showing that they still see this work as a priority. In addition, independent research also published by the department today adds to the mounting evidence that intensive family intervention delivers better outcomes for children and families with multiple problems and delivers cost savings. The research carried out in 27 local authorities running family pathfinders found that for every £1 invested nearly £2 was saved. If a number of different professionals each deal with a different family member and a different problem it costs a lot of money and is ineffective.
Intervening early and services working more efficiently with vulnerable families is central to the Government’s commitment to unlock social mobility and tackle child poverty. That’s why we are supporting local areas to expand family intervention services with the roll out of Community Budgets which help local areas to pool funding into one central pot.
The family intervention services highlighted in today’s statistics target around 50,000 of families with troubled children and young people. It’s an encouraging sign that we are making a vital contribution on the way to turning around the lives of all troubled families by end of this parliament.
The statistics on families receiving support from family intervention services in England up to March 2011 are available on our Research and Statistics website.
The independent research report on the Family Pathfinder programme is available on our Publications website.
More information on supporting families with multiple problems is available on our website.