27 January 2010

A project which aims to change the behaviour of families who are prolific offenders or who are at risk of losing their homes because of their anti-social behaviour has been given a cash boost.

Northamptonshire County Council has been awarded more money by the government to expand the county’s Family Intervention Project (FIP), which was launched in October following a successful year of the service being delivered in Corby.

The aim of the programme is to offer families who are committing high-levels of anti-social behaviour or where offending is prolific, intensive support and help.

The county council has now been awarded £40,000 from the government along with another £40,000 from local partners to fund two new FIP workers to work in the north of the county. (Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough)

Cabinet member for children and young people Cllr Andrew Grant said: "The government introduced FIPs in 2006 and early results have shown that they substantially reduce levels of anti-social behaviour and improve parenting for families involved.

“Most families don’t choose to become anti-social and do so because of underlying problems that they do not know how to deal with. Not only do the families benefit but so do the communities in which they live.

“This money will ensure we can work with more families by increasing the number of workers we have.”

To be successful in securing funding the county council has secured match funding from partners to the £40,000 offered by the government. This was achieved through investment from Wellingborough Homes, Kettering Borough Council, Corby Borough Council, Orbit Homes, the Supporting People project and the Rose Project, a multi-agency partnership.

The project is being delivered by children’s charity Action for Children. Research has found that their approach can turn anti-social behaviour around in eight out of 10 cases, with significant cost savings to the taxpayer.

The support on offer starts once the family has agreed to set up an individual contract. They can expect long term intensive support which will be carried out in partnership with other agencies working with the family through a formal support planning process. The length of time a team member spends with the family will depend upon the severity of the issues and how long it takes to change the behaviour.