Thursday, August 13, 2009


Family Intervention Projects is the latest UK initiative to try and improve the lives of children living in families where crime and violence are not uncommon.

A newspaper report;

THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday.

The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.

They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.

Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction.

Around 2,000 families have gone through these Family Intervention Projects so far.

I did a little further searching and found some information about the types of families in the programme. No surprises.

69 percent were headed by a lone parent and 61 percent were receiving out-of-work benefits.

Products of the modern welfare state.

The early results from those families that have completed the intervention show some improvement - more so for children - better school attendance, less anti-social behaviour orders received, less trouble with housing authorities, improved health. Interestingly this mirrors the Christchurch EarlyStart programme which is improving outcomes for children but not for adults to the same degree.

And are the families less state-dependent? Barely.


Anonymous said...

The fourth season of the tv series "The Wire" is worth watching because it shows the best intentions fall prey to the political beast.

I use this example because fiction mirrors real life so well.


Mark.V. said...

The problem with all these initiatives is that the people running them know that if they are successful they will be out of a job. So they never quite succeed and blame their lack of success on a lack of money and resources. Consequently they receive more money and resources and so they are guaranteed a job for life, and a new State agency that can never be closed down is born.

twr said...

Not that I think welfare is good for families, but I'm not sure the claim of causation has been justified. As we all know, correlation does not automatically equate to causation. Therefore, just because stats show that a large number of the people who beat their kids are on benefits, it doesn't mean that being on a benefit causes them to do it (ignoring the issue of them having more time on their hands to do so). It like saying that not having a driving licence makes you blind because no blind people have driving licences.

It might be time for society to acknowledge that some people are just wrong 'uns, and have a strategy for preventing further harm to the kids rather than trying to make the parents into something they can never be.

Certainly taking away government incentives to have kids they don't want and can't look after would be a good first step.

Anonymous said...

It might be time for society to acknowledge that some people are just wrong 'uns, and have a strategy for preventing further kids
yes indeed.