ENGLAND – £6m funding boost for new family intervention projects

The government has announced an extra £6m per year to fund the development of intensive family intervention programmes across 37 local authorities.

Announcing the funding today, children’s minister Tim Loughton said foster carers and vulnerable families across England will benefit from the cash boost, which will fund the development of four government-endorsed support programmes including multisystemic therapy (MST) and multidimensional treatment foster care (MTFC).

“I am delighted to announce today additional funding for 37 local authorities and their partners to develop intensive programmes of support in their areas.

“Around half of these will be focused on families with children on the edge of care or offending, and half offering intensive support for foster carers,” Loughton said.

He said programmes such as MST had been proven to help families with entrenched difficulties to turn their lives around, thus reducing the number of young people entering care, while programmes such as MTFC had a track record in helping children growing up in care to enjoy stable, successful childhoods.

The four programmes supported by the government are:

● MTFC, where foster carers are trained in behaviour management and supported by a clinically led team.

● Keeping Foster and Kinship Carers Trained and Supported (KEEP), a preventative programme to increase the parenting skills and confidence of carers looking after 5-12 year olds.

● Multisystemic therapy (MST), which uses evidence-based approaches, including cognitive behavioural therapy, to work with 11-17 year olds and their families.

● Functional family therapy (FFT), which targets 10-18 year olds with behavioural problems, alcohol and/or substance abuse problems.

The Department for Education invited local authorities who were already delivering intensive evidence-based support programmes to apply for funding of up to £200,000 per year to test new ways of delivering the programmes.

Councils who had not previously developed such approaches were invited to apply for funding to develop one of the four programmes.

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