Supporting families reduces children’s offending and anti-social behaviour

According to new research, by Action for Children, providing intensive family support has greatly reduced cases of children offending or displaying anti-social behaviour.

The annual Impact Report also reveals that intensive family support, where a key worker works very closely with one family, has helped 89 per cent of parents maintain or improve their mental health and helped 81 per cent of children develop strong relationships with their family.

Supporting families to live together safely can mean savings of up to £130,471 per family to other social services or agencies by preventing children offending or entering the care system.

Sir Tony Hawkhead, chief executive at Action for Children, said: “We work with some of the country’s most vulnerable young people and their families. Our innovative programmes try and keep families together where possible to create a happy and loving home that all children deserve. Our ultimate goal is that children have the love, support and opportunity they need to reach their potential. Having a safe, happy and loving family life is the foundation on which all children should be building their lives.”

The report also found:

  • Functional Family Therapy, where clinical staff work intensively with a family to change the anti-social behaviour of a young person who is at risk of going into care or custody, resulted in more than 95 per cent who stayed with their families and more than 80 per cent ceased offending behaviour
  • Multi-systemic Therapy, a home-based programme to create sustained behavioural change, resulted in 91 per cent of young people continuing to live at home and 82 per cent having satisfactory school attendance
  • Where there was a risk of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, this risk had been reduced in 96 per cent of cases
  • 87 per cent of children improved their emotional well-being
  • 97 per cent of young people remained in education, employment or training after 16 years of age

For a copy of the Impact Report 2015 click here.