Councils and primary care trusts are being asked to bid jointly for intensive parenting support scheme pilots.
The scheme, to provide support for children in families with multiple problems from birth to two, was proposed in the social exclusion action plan.
The government is inviting bids for 10 pilot sites, each of which will need to recruit at least four health visitors and midwives to assess at-risk families. Sites must be ready to train practitioners by February and be recruiting families by April. Families will be visited weekly or fortnightly.
In a letter to councils and PCTs last week, the Department of Health and Department for Education and Skills said they wanted sites to be developed around Sure Start children’s centres.
Funding will be provided until March 2008 and the government is inviting ideas for sustaining the pilots beyond then.