Family Intervention Project

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Family Intervention Project

For 2010-11, Family Intervention Projects are at the forefront of the government’s strategy – the Government recently announced a new £26million package of additional funding to extend FIPs to 10,000 families a year.

This followed the recognition in July 2009 by Department for Children, Schools and Families that:

“We are pleased that in an increasing number of areas both councils and Police are finding Family Intervention Projects (FIPs) to be an excellent, cost effective means of preventing and tackling crime and anti-social behaviour…improving a wide range of child, family and community outcomes. It costs about £14k per family per year to receive help from a FIP, compared to between £250-350k per year if a child has to go into care, so the case for the FIP approach is a compelling one, we believe.”

What is the Family Intervention Project?

In Hammersmith and Fulham the Family Intervention Project has to address Youth Crime.  It works with families who have not responded to help and formal sanctions in the past, whose children may cause a significant problem through crime in their community.  These families are amongst the most challenging and are usually known to many organisations and agencies.  For example it provides a last chance for families who are at risk of being evicted because of youth crime and anti-social behaviour.

The project works by linking support with enforcement to provide families with the incentive to change. The team recognises that all members of the family are likely to either contribute to, or be affected by, the anti-social behaviour, and so assessments are carried out with each member of the family and relevant support put into place.

The FIP provides a team to work with the families to turn around their behaviour and reduce their impact on the community. The aim is to bring stability to families’ lives, prevent homelessness and improve opportunities for children through a twin track approach that combines intensive support with a focused challenge.

What are the aims of the project?

• Stopping youth crime and anti-social behaviour
• Preventing homelessness
• Providing sustainable routes back to settled housing
• Helping to achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes for children and young people
• Increasing the effectiveness of multi-agency working

Who should be referred to the Family Intervention Project?

Families who meet one or more of the following criteria:

• One or more children in the family are coming to Police attention as a regular offender
• The family will be facing enforcement action from one or more agencies aiming to improve their behaviour and family’s outcomes and reduce the criminal activity of their children
• Adult family members (over 18) are offenders and presenting a pro-criminal influence to under 18 year old children in the family
• The family are at risk of eviction due to anti-social behaviour, youth crime or rent arrears

How do I refer a family to the Family Intervention Project (FIP)?

1. Identify the family you wish to refer and consider if there are any other suitable earlier interventions which could be tried prior to referral to FIP
2. Discuss the family with the Think Family Champion most closely related to your work (see attached list of Think Family Champions and contact details)
3. Complete first page of the FIP referral form and any other relevant sections to your work (including other agencies/contacts you are aware are involved with the family)
4. Send form to thinkfamilychampions@lbhf.gov.uk

What happens then?

i) Project Administrator circulates referral to Think Family Champions, who each check their records and provide relevant information from their agency’s work with the family
ii) Completed referral information is sent to the Think Family Champions who confirm whether they recommend the referral to FIP, or suggest alternative interventions first
iii) Decision to refer is made by majority recommendation of Think Family Champions
iv) Once referral decision is confirmed, Family Action convene a Team Around the Family meeting, involving all those working with family, to discuss the best way to offer the project and to work with the family
v) Offer is made to the family in most appropriate way
vi) Family Action begin working with the family, providing support as needed in a variety of ways, and do a six week assessment of the needs of the whole family and community.  During the assessment period the family receive direct and practical help to change from Family Action.
vii) Following the assessment, Family Action meet with the family to agree and sign a support plan / contract that clearly outlines what support FIP can provide, what work other agencies are doing and what is expected of the family, including relevant rewards and sanctions.  This contract is shared with the Team Around the Family.
viii) Family Action continue working with the family, liaising regularly with the Team Around the Family and reporting regularly to the Think Family Champions, as long as the family needs this form of support

For further information, please see attached presentation on Family Intervention Project

Page last updated: 26/01/2010