Supporting families

N Biehal, J Statham

Research output: Other contribution


There is a strong emphasis in current government policy on early prevention of problems and the provision of multi-agency support for children and families, for example through Sure Start, children's centres and an extended role for schools (4). Most of the activity has focused on younger children, perhaps on the assumption that initiatives aimed at younger children will prevent problems later in children's lives, although there is little robust evidence to date that this is the case. Relatively few family support initiatives target adolescents (5, 6, 7, 8, 9), and work with this group is afforded only low priority by social work teams despite the fact that the needs of young people seem to have increased. Over the past 50 years or so there has been a rise in the proportion of young people identified as having 'psychosocial disorders', including conduct disorders, depression, eating disorders, suicidal behaviour and drug or alcohol problems (10). The age group 7 to 11 has also missed out on support services (11) although this is being addressed to some extent by programmes such as The Children's Fund and On Track, and Connexions for older children.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherResearch in Practice
Place of PublicationDartington
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Publication series

NameResearch and Practice Briefings: Children and Families


  • children on the edge of care
  • social work issues

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