Project: Evaluation of the Tri-Borough Family Coaching Service

Funder: The London Triborough

Dates: March 2013- February 2014

Project team: Professor Marian Brandon, Dr Penny Sorensen, Sue Bailey, Emeritus Professor June Thoburn, Dr Neil Cooper and Dr Sara Connolly.

The Family Coaching service is a response to the Government's high profile ‘Troubled Families' initiative and is being delivered across the Tri-Borough (of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham). This new service is being offered to families with problems in at least two of the following: youth offending - crime and anti-social behaviour ; school attendance - truancy or exclusion from school; employment - adults claiming out-of-work benefits. The initiative aims to turn around the lives of troubled families by providing a coordinated approach to support, so the family is not overwhelmed by interventions and is helped to deal with the most urgent difficulties first. 

This one year study aimed to provide a primarily qualitative, critical evaluation of the working of the family coach service to get a better understanding of what elements appear to be making a difference and for whom. It examined how the coaching service relates to the ‘services as usual' that precede and follow the service. It mapped each stage of the service beginning with the triage system to allocate families to the coach service (or elsewhere).  A series of developmental workshops will be run with the Family Coaches to understand from their perspective how their work is developing. ‘Whole family' interviews will provide family perspectives on what might, or might not, be succeeding and why. A simple reviewing system will also be devised to capture longer term outcomes for families and the knock on effects of the service for other stakeholders.

The study is, in part, a follow on of the influential earlier evaluation of the more intensive Family Recovery Project, evaluated by a team led in the CRCF by Emeritus Professor June Thoburn and ending in 2012. The overall Tri-Borough Troubled Families service has drawn substantially on the findings of this earlier evaluation.  June had an advisory role in the team led by Professor Brandon that is evaluated the next stage of the FRP team's work in Westminster and the Tri-Borough Troubled Families service.

To read the report please click here - Evaluation of the Tri-Borough Family Coaching Service