Practice implications

The importance of early intervention

This study reinforces the message that broad-based family support can make a difference in respect of outcomes for children and on parenting if made available as early as possible to families who have acute needs. It presents a set of challenges to the current tendency for support services to be restricted only to those families who are facing imminent family break-up or serious behavioural problems on the part of their children.

Safeguarding children

The study illustrates how sustained family support can be an important component of a child protection plan in terms of helping to improve children’s general well-being and upbringing.

The value of maximising engagement

The study underlies the value of making robust and sustained efforts to maximise the engagement of parents, including those who may be most apprehensive about the involvement of professionals in their lives.

Interagency collaboration

A striking feature of this study is how effective services appear to have been, when they are delivered by staff from different agencies such as early years, health and social care working in partnership with each other.


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