What Works Centre for Children's Social Care

New evidence outlines Intensive Family Preservation Services effectiveness in preventing children from entering care

The review by CASCADE, on behalf of What Works for Children’s Social Care, launched today

What Works for Children’s Social Care (formerly the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care) today launches its latest report examining the evidence-base and effectiveness of Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS).

The report, ‘Intensive Family Preservation Services to prevent out of home placement of children‘, is a systematic review and meta-analysis of 37 papers, completed by the CASCADE research team. In addition to these reports, What Works for Children’s Social Care has also updated the entry relating to IFPS on its Evidence Store.

Whilst the review findings show that IFPS are effective at preventing out-of-home placement of children, the report outlines that IFPS can vary in effectiveness.  Such evidence suggests that how IFPS are implemented is important but, if implemented correctly, IFPS could help reduce the rate of children entering care.

Prof Donald Forrester, Director of CASCADE, Cardiff University, said:

“It is exciting to see evidence for the difference that intensive social work with families can make brought together in this way. Most of this research is from the USA, so the next stage is to support local authorities to implement or improve IFPS services in the UK. We are carrying out research to learn about and share findings in relation to effective practice here, and hope to evaluate IFPS services in England in the near future.”

Further information on the findings can be found at Intensive Family Preservation Services press release and the ‘Intensive Family Preservation Services: A promising way of keeping families together’ blog.

Read the full Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS) systematic review here.