Parenting Work in the Youth Justice System

Parenting Work in the Youth Justice System

Parenting work in the youth justice system Supporting evidence base Youth Justice Board February 2010 Contents Context and current provision The research and evidence base for parent and family support The business and value for money case How targeted parenting support aligns with Government priorities Page 2 Targeted family and parenting support services are widespread and play a key role in preventing a range of negative outcomes Since 1998 the youth justice system has played an important role in the development of services for parents Parenting is recognised as vital to a childs well-being and as a powerful agent for change in a range of social problems including anti-social behaviour and youth offending. There has been a general expansion of the support services available to parents in recent years. As a 2008 study found, this is due in part to the fact that parenting support has been a key plank of many substantial policy initiatives, and is now recognised as a major if not the key lever for improving outcomes for children and young people1 A recent independent review highlighted the importance of supporting parents and argued that many costly and damaging social problems are created because children are not given the right type of support. 2 1 Key Elements of Effective Practice Parenting (source document), YJB, 2008 2 Graham Allen Review of Early Intervention, 2011

Achieving continued investment in YOT parenting The Breaking the Cycle Green Paper underlines the Governments commitment to maximising parental involvement in the youth justice system and delivering high quality support to parents and families. The Governments localism agenda increases the role of local communities in setting priorities and delivering services. Current pressures on funding mean local authorities will therefore be required to target their resources where they will be most effective. Youth offending teams will receive a non ring-fenced youth justice grant in 2011/12, with the option to source additional resources from other sources including the Department for Educations Early Intervention Grant (England only). This information pack is intended to help YOT Managers and practitioners attract funding for targeted parenting support services by highlighting the research and evidence base for parenting and family interventions and the sound business and value for money case for investing in this important area of service. Page 3 YOTs deliver a large number of interventions to parents and families in high need of support each year and their services have become an integral part of the landscape of children and young peoples services The vast majority of YOTs have dedicated parenting workers, and a recent survey found every local authority had dedicated parenting or family workers in place, either within the YOT or based in other agencies such as social services. 1 YOT parenting services include; voluntary work with at-risk families overseeing Parenting Contracts delivering targeted parenting interventions overseeing Parenting Orders YOTs use an assertive approach to engaging some of the hardest-to-reach

parents and families using these tools. A 2009 study2 found the parenting programmes most commonly delivered include The Incredible Years, Triple P, Strengthening Families, and Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities. Locally developed parenting interventions, designed to meet local parenting needs, are also commonly delivered. YOTs have also contributed to the growth of whole-family interventions in recent years, including involvement in delivering Family Intervention Programmes (FIP), Multi-systemic Therapy (MST) and Functional Family Therapy (FFT) Parents matter! Warwickshire Youth Justice Service Parents Matter, a collection of clubs, courses and workshops run by Warwickshire Youth Justice Service, works with parents of young offenders or those at risk of offending. The service combines locally adapted provision (Steps) and evidence-based programmes (triple P), with self-evaluation showing that overall the service has achieved a low reoffending rate of 20% (over 6 months between January and July 2010). The service places great emphasis on engaging parents one of the key elements of the provision is a personal/social development programme which aims to increase parents confidence prior to, or alongside, the main parenting programme. The service includes breakfast and lunch clubs where parents can meet and share their experiences in a more relaxed atmosphere, which helps to reduce the apprehension among some parents of attending a parenting programme and increases their likelihood of engaging with the service. Further information about targeted parenting work within the youth justice system is available at 1 National Audit Office Survey of Youth Offending Teams (2010) 2 Klett-Davies et al, Mapping and Analysis of Parenting Services in England (2009) Page 4 Funding for targeted parenting services is received from central and local sources but services may be hit by resource pressures going

forwards YOTs are central to the development of local prevention and parenting strategies and the implementation of these services. YOTs have also led the way in integrating targeted services with wider prevention and family support activities. YOTs have previously received a direct grant, via the Youth Justice Board, for targeted youth crime prevention which has included parenting services. From 2011/12, YOTs will receive a single, non ring-fenced, youth justice grant, giving local areas flexibility to deploy their resources to meet local risk and need. Additional resources can be sourced from other funding streams, including Funding for local authorities to invest in early intervention and prevention services for children, young people and families is available through the Department for Educations Early Intervention Grant (England only) Other local sources, including Community Budgets in 16 local pilot areas, and joint working with other agencies Page 5 Context and current provision The research and evidence base for parent and family support The business and value for money case How targeted parenting support aligns with Government priorities Page 6 Why work with parents the headlines The 1998 Crime and Disorder Act enshrines in law the principle that a young persons behaviour can be influenced by the type of parenting they receive Home Office research shows that 42% of young people aged 10-17 who had experienced low or medium levels of parental supervision had offended, whereas the figure was only 20% for those who had experienced high levels of parental supervision1 Working with parents is almost certainly a pre-requisite for effective

intervention with young people who are offending or at risk of offending3 Supporting parents is shown to benefit parents themselves, improving their confidence and widening their social support networks5 Family factors can be a significant protective factor in a young persons life2 Many partners, including those to whom YOTs are responsible, have an interest in seeing positive parenting and reducing the risk factors associated with poor parenting including housing, education and health services Quality of parenting support is established as one of the most critical factors in the likelihood of a young person offending and can provide an effective mechanism for achieving better outcomes for children and young people4 See Key Elements of Effective Practice Parenting (YJB, 2008) for further information 1 Graham and Bowling, Young People and Crime, Home Office Research Study 145 (1995) 2 Risk and Protective Factors, YJB (2005) 3 Key Elements of Effective Practice Parenting (YJB, 2008) 4 ibid

5 ibid Page 7 Family factors are strongly associated with managing a young persons risk of offending and reoffending Low achievement beginning in primary school Aggressive behaviour (including bullying) Lack of commitment (including truancy) School disorganisation Living in a disadvantaged neighbourhood Disorganisation and neglect Availability of drugs High population turnover, and lack of neighbourhood attachment PERSONAL SCHOOL Poor parental supervision and discipline Conflict History of criminal activity Parental attitudes that condone anti-social and criminal behaviour Low income Poor housing COMMUNITY FAMILY The risk and protective factors associated with offending are well-established and evidence-based They can be grouped under four domains Family factors are well established as strong predictors of juvenile offending, including; Poor parental child management techniques and

supervision Parental rejection of, and low involvement with, children Large family size Criminal/anti-social parents For further information see Risk and Protective Factors (YJB, 2005) Publications/Scripts/pr odView.asp?idproduct =246&eP Hyperactivity and impulsivity Low intelligence and cognitive impairment Alienation and lack of social commitment Attitudes that condone offending and drug misuse Early involvement in crime and drug misuse Friendships with peers involved in crime and drug misuse A 1997 study found that parental monitoring or supervision is the aspect of family management that is most consistently related to delinquency.1 Research has found that successful parenting interventions take a strengths-based approach, and that work should not focus solely on problems, risk factors and deficits in parents skills and circumstances but should also identify families strengths and the positive features of family life.2 1 Smith and Stern, in Farrington and Welsh, Saving Children from a Life of Crime (2007) 2 YJB, Key Elements of Effective Practice Series, Parenting source document (2008) Page 8 There is growing evidence which supports the positive impact parenting interventions can make on children and young peoples outcomes

An independent evaluation of YOT parenting interventions found parents reported a range of positive changes in their parenting skills and competencies following engagement with programmes, including; Improved communication with their child Improved supervision and monitoring of young peoples activities Reduction in the frequency of conflict with young people, and better approaches to handling conflict when it arose Better relationships Feeling better able to cope with their childs behaviour, and parenting in general In addition, in the year after their parents left the parenting programme, young peoples reconviction rates fell by nearly 1/3 See Positive Parenting (YJB) for further information These positive findings are supported by a growing body of research which reports positive outcomes from a range of targeted parenting programmes: A 2002 review of the effectiveness of interventions, including multi-systemic therapy, multi-dimensional treatment foster care, functional family therapy and parent management training, found family and parenting interventions for juvenile offenders and their families led to a significant reduction in re-arrest rates. 1 The evaluation of the roll-out of a Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinder (PEIP) project has found the parenting programmes had positive effects on the parents mental well-being and style of parenting, as well as their childrens behaviours.2 A 2008 randomised control trial found parents who received parenting interventions used play, praise and rewards more commonly with their children, who experienced reduced levels of conduct disorder and ADHD, and a 6-month boost in reading age.3 For further information see Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinder:

PEIP 2nd Interim report: Parenting KEEP source document: 1 Woolfenden et al, Family and Parenting Interventions in Children and Adolescents with Conduct Disorder and Delinquency Aged 10-17 in the Cochrane Library Page 2 Department for Education, Parenting Early Intervention Programme 2nd Interim report (November 2010) 3 Scott et al, Randomised control trial of parent groups for anti social behaviour targeting multiple risk factors: the SPOKES project (Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2010) 9 A number of independent bodies have also supported the targeted approach to working with parents that YOTs have taken The Home Affairs Select Committee have recommended that parenting programmes reach the most deprived families, and that parenting support is available throughout a childs life, not just in the early years (Tenth Report 2009/10) cmselect/cmhaff/242/242i.pdf A review by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence highlighted the value of parenting programmes in improving the behaviour of children with conduct disorder (Parent-training/education programmes in the management of children with conduct disorders, NICE 2006) A leading think tank has argued that resource intensive services such as evidence-based parenting programmes should be targeted on the basis of need. (The Home Front, Demos 2011) 1295005094 A 2009 independent report identified 10 effective

crime prevention programmes including parenting and whole family interventions including Triple P, Functional Family Therapy, Multi-systemic Therapy (Less Crime, Lower Costs, Policy Exchange 2009) Less_Crime__Lower_Costs_-_May__09.pdf Research suggests that services offered through YOTs and partner agencies may offer some of the best opportunities that are presently available to us to engage positively with families in distress. Key Elements of Effective Practice - Parenting source document, 2008 Page 10 There is a wide range of emerging good local practice currently in place that services can learn from and adapt to meet their local needs Families and Schools Together (FAST) FAST aims to improve relationships in the family, reduce conflict, and create supportive links between parents, teachers and the community. FAST is an after-school, multi-family group programme delivered through 8 weekly sessions followed by two years of monthly booster sessions, during which group activities as well as parenting coaching sessions are delivered. FAST has been delivered in a number of local areas, including in East Sussex where the youth offending service has been centrally involved in delivering FAST to families of primary school children, with very encouraging results. Westminster Family Recovery Programme Functional Family Therapy Westminsters multi-agency Family Recovery Programme (FRP) takes a whole family approach to intervening with at-risk families to tackle the range of problems they experience. A team around the family deliver a range of support and services which reflect the needs of

the family and, where necessary, the wider community. Families receive intensive support and are required to sign an agreement setting out their responsibilities and the potential consequences of refusing support. Brighton and Hove and West Sussex YOTs have been involved in a randomised control trial of Functional Family Therapy (FFT), a targeted whole-family programme that delivers flexible, intensive support to at-risk young people and their families through home and community-based sessions. FRP has seen very positive results including a 69% reduction in the number of accused offences in the 12 months follow engagement compared with the previous year. FFT works to enhance family protective factors and reduce risk factors, and is aimed at 10-17 year olds displaying anti-social behaviour and/or offending. FFT has a strong international evidence base and has seen very encouraging early results in the UK. DfE have published a toolkit of information as part of their Think Family approach see Further information about local parenting practices and programmes is available at CWDC commissioning toolkit: C4EO Early Intervention theme: C4EO Families, Parents and Carers theme: YJBs Directory of Emerging Practice: Page 11 Context and current provision The research and evidence base for parent and family support

The business and value for money case How targeted parenting support aligns with Government priorities Page 12 The significant costs of responding to youth crime make a compelling case for investing in effective parenting support services Recent studies have calculated the total costs of responding to youth crime at between 4billion 1 and 11billion2 annually. The consequences of social exclusion and other negative outcomes inflict huge costs on society and the economy; Anti-social behaviour costs the public 3.4 billion per year The annual cost of school exclusion is estimated at 406 million It costs about 110,000 a year to keep a child in residential care, and 60,000 for a young offenders institution3 Exposure to parent-based risk factors can also have significant cost implications for young peoples life chances; 63% of boys whose father go to prison are eventually convicted themselves 61% of children in workless couple households live in poverty Children who experience parental conflict and domestic violence are more likely to be delinquent4 There are approximately 140,000 families in the UK whose children experience 5 or more disadvantages. 1 Independent Commission on Youth Crime and Anti-social Behaviour, 2010 2 National Audit Office, 2010 3 Think Family Toolkit (Guidance note 3), Department for Education 2010 4 ibid The average cost of delivering parenting interventions varies between programmes depending on their intensity and how they are delivered; The PEIP evaluation places the average cost per parent completing the programme at 2,955 and argues the longer term savings and benefits from improving childrens behaviour would not have to be

unfeasibly great for a net gain to be made 1 A 2010 study found the cost per child of delivering a 28 week parenting programme which saw a range of positive results was 2,3802 The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) reviewed parental training/education interventions and has developed a cost template which places the cost of delivering parenting groups at; Clinic based individual programmes: 2,000 Home based individual programmes: 3,000 Community based group programmes: 7,200 Clinic based group programmes: 5,000 3 1 Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinder Evaluation (2008) 2 Randomised control trial of parent groups for child antisocial behaviour targeting multiple risk factors (2010) 3 Parent-training education programmes in the management of children with conduct disorders (NICE, 2006) Page 13 Evidence of the cost-effectiveness of parenting and family support underlines the sound financial case for investing in this service A number of studies have shown the cost savings to the public purse associated with parent and family support interventions to be significant; An evaluation of Westminsters Family Recovery Programme (FRP) suggests that for every 1 spent on FRP, 2.10 in costs is avoided by the public purse. While the average cost per family of involvement in FRP is 19,500, the average estimated cost avoidance for each family is 41,0001 A 2010 Department for Education publication 2 found that families engaged in Family Intervention Projects (FIPs) experienced a 45% reduction in risk of poor parenting, and that the cost savings achieved through preventing a range of negative outcomes were significant 2 In addition to preventing delinquency and later offending, research shows that parent management training

programmes are effective in producing wider family benefits including school performance, greater employment and increased family stability3 1 Repairing broken families and rescuing fractured communities, City of Westminster (2010) 2 Department for Education, Evidence For Think Family 3 Farrington and Welsh, Saving Children from a Life of Crime Many US-based programmes have been rigorously evaluated and shown to be cost-effective. Washington State Institute for Public Policy research into the benefits and costs of prevention and early intervention programmes for youths estimates the economic return on investment for a range of parenting programmes as being; Programme Benefit per dollar of cost Functional Family Therapy 13.25 : 1 Multi-systemic Therapy 2.64 : 1 Strengthening Families 7.82 : 1 Multi-dimensional treatment foster care 10.88 : 1 See Steve Aos et al, Benefits and Costs of Prevention and Early Intervention Programs for Youth (2004) Compared with the high costs of correctional services

and dealing with the negatives consequences of social exclusion, a strong case exists to invest more in evidence-based preventive services including targeted parent and family support. Page 14 Good parenting is also a key driver of public confidence in the youth justice system and YOTs are well placed to deliver targeted parenting support A recent Ipsos Mori poll reveals the public are supportive of intervening at the family level. When asked what would best cut crime in the UK, better parenting was identified as the leading answer (55%). The study also found that encouraging good behaviour was the most popular way of achieving good parenting. See Closing the Gaps (Ipsos MORI 2008) closing_the_gaps.pdf Youth justice services are well placed to deliver targeted parenting support locally for a range of reasons, including YOT parenting services span the youth justice remit from working with parents preventively right through to offering specialist support to help avoid reoffending YOTs provide a targeted service specifically aimed at resolving offending issues which can complement and build upon other wider family support services YOT parenting workers benefit from direct access to, and the expertise of, multi-agency professionals within the youth offending service as well as other statutory services YOT parenting practitioners work with parents throughout their contact with the youth justice system, enabling them to build positive relationships, maximise the effectiveness of interventions, and ultimately provide a more holistic service to families in need of support The multi-agency structure of YOTs enables easy referral to other youth justice services which is beneficial for the cohort of offending families While the majority of family support is focused on early years provision, youth offending services

provide a specialist service to parents of older children and teenagers YOTs have built up a highly skilled parenting workforce over the years and benefit from their significant expertise and experience YOTs are able to provide advice and support to parents who may not have been able to access other types of support due to high service thresholds Page 15 Context and current provision The research and evidence base for parent and family support The business and value for money case How targeted parenting support aligns with Government priorities Page 16 Opportunities exist to build upon good practice and bring new thinking to the targeted parenting support landscape The Government has outlined a range of key objectives and priority agendas. These include; Targeted parenting support complements and supports these objectives in a range of ways, including; The Big Society: encouraging community engagement and greater voluntary and 3rd sector delivery of services, increased local determination and accountability YOTs are locally owned and locally managed Focus on early intervention and prevention The Rehabilitation Revolution: a more co-ordinated approach to delivering services, system incentivisation, reform of criminal justice frameworks Less central monitoring and increased localism: a more light-touch approach to central direction, local determination, greater discretion for professionals Spending Review priorities: overall reduction in public

spending, focus on value for money and efficiencies The Breaking the Cycle Green Paper outlines the Governments commitment to maximising parental involvement in the youth justice system and delivering high quality support to parents and families. Third sector organisations and volunteers are involved in the delivery of services The youth justice system is already strongly focused on prevention and early intervention. YOTs work with families to encourage better parenting and ensure parents live up to their responsibilities Programmes are locally evaluated alongside national evaluations Working with parents, both preventively as well as throughout their childs involvement in the youth justice system, has a strong value for money benefit Community locations for delivering parenting support meet Big Society and increased transparency agendas YOTs have certain flexibilities over local determination of resources Page 17 We are seeing positive results across the youth justice system and there will be opportunities to develop the parenting landscape further Parenting is recognised as a powerful agent for change in a range of social problems including anti-social behaviour and youth offending. There are opportunities for the landscape of targeted parenting services to further develop and respond to emerging agendas including; Targeted parenting interventions are contributing to the positive results we are seeing across the youth justice system; National focus on parenting and families: The

importance of working with parents is receiving increased national attention. The role for targeted work with parents in high need of support is a crucial element of this. The link between youth justice parenting support and wider whole family services will be central to this. The number of young people entering the criminal justice system for the first time (first time entrants, FTEs) has shown significant and sustained reductions in recent years. The number of young people receiving their first reprimand, warning or conviction fell by 23% between 2008/09 and 2009/10 Youth reoffending has also fallen latest available data (2008) shows that since 2000 the proportion of offenders who reoffended within 12 months (actual rate) has fallen from 40.2% to 37.3% There have also been positive reductions in the number of young people in custody average figures have fallen by around 20% since the peak in 2002/03 Financial incentivisation: parenting support plays a key role in reducing negative outcomes for young people and may become increasingly integral in incentivisation models. Outcomes could be linked to parenting programmes and/or support. Peer-led support: Sector-led support, whereby high performing practitioners or YOT partnerships support and encourage less-well performing colleagues by sharing best practice and providing advice and training, may develop as part of the youth justice landscape. Targeted parenting support has a clear role to play. There will be a range of other areas where early intervention and targeted services add value and will influence the development of service delivery. Local areas will therefore want to highlight the value and impact of targeted parenting support services at their highest strategic level and ensure they can continue to play a central role in the delivery of services for children and young people. Page 18

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