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Family Intervention Projects : a site of social work practice

By Sadie Parr


Family Intervention Projects (FIPs) provide intensive support to ‘problem families’ and are a core element of the Government's Respect Action Plan (2006). Drawing on recent research findings from an independent evaluation of the FIP ‘Signpost’, this paper aims to offer a new insight into our understanding of FIPs. The paper draws attention to two key points. First, the organizational context within which Signpost has emerged is one dominated by a social work ethos. It is suggest that the FIP has been implemented in a way which has provided social work professionals with an opportunity to engage in the kind of creative practice that proceduralization, bureaucracy and managerialism have made impossible to achieve in mainstream social work arenas. Following on from this, the paper emphasizes the limitations of evaluating anti-social behaviour policy effects without due consideration of the local policy and practice context within which policies are embedded. The paper is not intended to discount important critical reflections on FIPs, but seeks to illustrate the gaps that can open up between political rhetoric and policy effect, demonstrating why we should not be too quick to foreclose the possibilities afforded to vulnerable families by this type of intervention

Publisher: Oxford Journals
Year: 2009
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