Interventions for children at risk of developing antisocial personality disorder

 Interventions for children at risk of developing antisocial personality disorder
 David Utting, Helen Monteiro and Deborah Ghate,
 Policy Research Bureau,
 ISBN 9780955531309.
 Available for free download from

 Star rating: 3/5

The main programmes featured in this concise review, like The Incredible Years, Triple P, the Nurse-Family Partnership Programme, Multi-systemic therapy and Functional Family Therapy, rightly attract interest from parenting providers and agencies keen to develop a contemporary practice model for reducing antisocial behaviour, writes Anthony Douglas.

The emphasis on selecting the right programme at the right time for a particular set of problems is welcome as a one-size-fits-all approach is doomed. While all programmes have been positively evaluated in some part of the globe, the fragile understanding of how to relate a particular programme to a particular set of local problems in the UK means that targeting needs greater precision. This study can help strategists and operational managers alike.

Success factors like high programme fidelity (delivering a programme according to a core curriculum), a strong value-base for partnership working with families, and a tiered approach, are more likely than not to be effective whatever model is used.

This study could usefully have included some cross-referencing to other programmes which may have a preventive part to play, especially child and adolescent mental health services. The sheer unaffordability of some specialist programmes could also have received more coverage, while showing how, despite that, some can still be good value for money.

The strongest message from this study is that assessment without treatment is unlikely to change very much. The social care equivalent of “education, education, education” is “treatment, treatment, treatment”.

Anthony Douglas is chief executive of Cafcass and chair of BAAF

Transforming Society? Social Work and Sociology


Vicky Price and Graeme Simpson, The Policy Press University of Bristol ISBN 97818613474, £18.99

Social work students will find this book particularly useful, writes Susan Algar. Those studying a Foundation Degree in Care will also find it interesting to read since it looks at many of the factors involved in care work. In doing so, it poses many questions about the nature of care work and the principle of community care.

It will also complement the health and social care component of the BTEC diploma, as there is a discussion of social exclusion.

It was pleasing to see that there are clearly detailed synopses of theories and their concept. The book explores several sociological theories, explaining their main concepts and encouraging students to look at them more closely.

Also, there are precise explanations of terminology. This should encourage students to want to learn more.

Overall, the book is highly readable. There is an equal consideration given to each of the key themes explored. The text incorporates real life case studies to emphasise situations. Activities are suggested which will generate discussions and raise awareness. It is a thought-provoking read.

Susan Algar is a lecturer in social care at North West Kent College

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