We work with families to reduce offending and improve family relations

Who are we?

Action for Children’s Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is a Specialist Family Service Team within Renfrewshire Council, East Dunbartonshire Council, West Dunbartonshire Council, Clackmannanshire Council, Stirling Council, South Ayrshire Council, Dundee City Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), Moray Council and East Ayrshire Council.

What do we do?

Functional Family Therapy (FFT) has been used extensively in the USA, Norway and Sweden and is also being used worldwide. It is a highly successful programme with studies showing it is successful in reducing offending and improving family relations.

FFT represents a short term intervention working with parent(s)/main carers and others significant people who are important in the young person’s life. The intervention can last for up to a 5 month period. Most of the work is done with all the key people in the family home at the same time, with your therapist meeting up with their supervisor weekly to help tailor the programme and ensure your family achieves its goals.

The first step is for your therapist to get to know your family and understand how you are all get along. When things are hard within a family we know there can be a lot of negativity. The therapist will work with the families’ strengths to overcome difficulties.

Once the therapist gets to know your family, the next few sessions introduce changes to overcome some of the problems between family members. This often involves practising different ways of doing things, or communicating differently with one another.

In the last few sessions, the therapist will help you to apply agreed changes across a number of different situations and work with you to identify what other services could help.

Who is the service for?

  • Families who are already working with a social worker.
  • Families with a young person aged between 11–17 years old; considerations can be made for ages out with.
  • Families who are experiencing relationship and/or communication difficulties.
  • Families who are experiencing high levels of conflict.
  • Families who are affected by substance misuse and/or mental health problems.
  • Families who are described as having anti-social behaviour problems.
  • Families who are willing to consider a family approach.

If I want my family to be considered for FFT, what happens next?

Your social worker will discuss a referral to FFT. If this service is right for your family, you will be discussed to agree a plan of action that best meets your needs. Once agreed, a visit will be arranged between the social worker and FFT supervisor to introduce your family to the FFT service and arrange the best time for family sessions to start.