Cost-effectiveness of intensive family support

Our research into the effectiveness and economic benefits of intensive family support services.

We deliver 45 intensive family support (IFS) services across the UK, with the majority located in the North of England. These services respond to local need and priorities, but generally IFS services target families with complex and multiple needs where there is a real risk of poor life outcomes for children and young people in those families.

Typically, IFS services offer support to families where children are on the edge of care as a result of safeguarding concerns, or where there is crime or anti-social behaviour issues that are isolating the family from their local community.

We have evaluated these services to understand more about the effective features of IFS, and how it has evolved from the original Family Intervention Project Model that was pioneered some 17 years ago with families in Dundee.

Our research looks at whether intensive family support is:

  • keeping children safely out of care;
  • improving children’s educational attendance, behaviour and attainment;
  • reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in the family;
  • improving employment outcomes for young people and parents;
  • cost-effective to provide.

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