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Intensive intervention projects for young people

Teenage girls
Published: February 2011


This study looks at the experiences of young people referred to an intensive intervention project (IIP) between April 2009 and January 2011 to determine how successful the projects were in helping young people overcome the challenges they face.

What are Intensive Intervention Projects?

In 2008, 20 IIPs were set up to work with young people aged 8 to 19 who had the most complex and challenging needs.


The research showed that IIPs were benefiting their target group. The 790 young people who had completed an IIP or had been working with an IIP for at least eight months showed positive results. Just under a half (49%) of those who had left an IIP successfully completed their intervention and achieved a positive outcome. The research also showed that outcomes were sustained for nine to 14 months after the intervention.

  • 60% had fewer crime and anti-social behaviour issues.
  • 65% of young people and their families had improved the way their family functioned (reduced disengagement, addressing parenting issues or domestic violence).
  • 63% had reduced the number of health risks (such as mental health issues, drug or alcohol misuse and the risk of teenage pregnancy).
  • However, only 46% had reduced their education and employment issues.


At 21 January 2011, 1,836 young people had been referred to an IIP. Of these, 61% were accepted and had a contract in place; 6% were put on a waiting list; and 33% were turned down. Data was collected via a secure online information system and submitted by key workers, including:

  • The characteristics of young people referred;
  • their circumstances;
  • risk factors when a contract was put in place;
  • progress at regular formal reviews;
  • and outcomes at exit .

Read the report

Read the research brief