[holding answer 14 September 2009]: I have been asked to reply.
There are currently 164 Family Intervention Projects (FIPs). The majority of these provide support on an outreach basis, supporting families in their own home. There are currently six projects that run core, residential units. Essex has two FIPs based in Harlow and Tendering, both of which provide an outreach service.
FIPs are a key part of Government policy to support families at risk. The projects use a twin-track approach of support alongside sanctions to provide families with the incentives to change. An assertive key worker plays a pivotal, challenging and coordinating role in the projects ‘gripping’ the whole family, and the agencies involved with them. Early evaluation of Family Intervention Projects has shown that they are helping to reduce anti-social behaviour, prevent homelessness and improve the health and education of families.