Evaluation of intensive family support projects in Scotland

This report examines the establishment, operation and impacts of intensive family intervention projects operating in Scotland. The research was initiated mainly to evaluate the three ‘Breaking the Cycle’ (BtC) schemes funded by the Scottish Government as a two-year pilot programme running from 2006/07-2008/09. In addition to the BtC projects (in Falkirk, Perth and Kinross and South Lanarkshire) the research also encompassed the Dundee Families Project (set up in 1996) and the Aberdeen Families Project (established in 2005).

These longer-established schemes were included in the study mainly to enhance the scope for analysing Project support impacts - particularly in terms of the longer-term sustainability of any improvements in families lifestyles and behaviour achieved with Project help. Drawing on the ground-breaking Dundee model, the BtC schemes were seen by the Scottish Government as ‘demonstration projects’ aimed at illustrating the benefits of DFP techniques as well as testing the effectiveness of these techniques delivered through a purely ‘outreach support’ model rather than incorporating core residential accommodation for the families concerned.

The evaluation was undertaken within the context of a growing recognition that anti-social behaviour can be symptomatic of deep-rooted problems within families and that such problems can be transmitted from one generation to the next.

Hal Pawson
Emma Davidson
Filip Sosenko
John Flint
Judy Nixon
Rionach Casey
Diana Sanderson
Scottish Government Social Research