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Monitoring and evaluation of family intervention services and projects between February 2007 and March 2011

Kitchen family scene
Published: December 2011


This report provides monitoring evidence on family intervention with families between February 2007 and March 2011.

What are family interventions?

In 2007, family interventions coordinated by a dedicated ‘key worker’ were established to help some of the most troubled families in England overcome the problems they face.


We found that family interventions achieve a high rate of success

At least half of the families who finished the intervention saw improvement in one of their ‘risk areas’. This included:

  • a reduction of 50% in the proportion of families involved in crime and anti-social behaviour;
  • an average reduction of 47% in those experiencing poor family functioning;
  • and a reduction of 34% in those with mental or physical health risks such as drug or alcohol problems.

The least successful outcomes were in the areas of mental health and worklessness.

Family type had an impact on success

  • families with younger children appeared to have an increased chance of success addressing problems connected with crime and anti-social behaviour;
  • families with older children were more likely to achieve success in getting at least one adult in the family into work;
  • larger families were less likely to address family functioning, education and employment problems;
  • families with at least one child subject to a child protection plan were less likely to achieve success.  


Data was collected via a secure web-based information system by key workers in 120 local authorities with a family intervention project/service where families had exited a family intervention, including;

  • The characteristics of families referred;
  • risk factors when a support plan was put in place;
  • progress at regular formal reviews;
  • outcomes at exit;
  • whether outcomes have been sustained 9-14 months after exit.

Read the report