Are intensive family preservation services useful: A UK study

Marian Brandon, Jo Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This evaluation of the first year of an Intensive Family Preservation Service in England is based on the analysis of eighty-six families: fifty-seven families who received the service and a comparison group of twenty-nine families who did not. The study considered whether the program was fulfilling its objectives of reducing the number of children and young people in the public care system; offering a safe, supportive service for children who need protection; integrating the program into family support services as a whole, and improving family functioning. The findings were complex to interpret. Child protection was improved but there was not a reduction in the number of children needing out of home care (indeed there was an increase) meaning that short term savings in costs could not be made. Nor were there lasting improvements in the children’s behavior. There were instead a number of more subtle, arguably more sensitive outcomes: parents’ capacity to tolerate their child’s behavior was greater and overall family functioning was better for most families who received the service. Also families were, on the whole, able to make better use of follow up services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-69
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Family Preservation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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