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Functional Family Therapy and Gloucestershire County Council

Gloucestershire County Council has announced plans to spend over £1m over the next three years on a Government-backed scheme called Functional Family Therapy (FFT).

The scheme is intended to provide positive, intensive support to youngsters in order to allow them to stay with their parents and siblings rather than having them removed from the family unit and taken into care services.

There are currently 493 children in care in Gloucestershire and the County Council has calculated that even if FFT intervention shortens the time a youngster stays in care by only two months, cost savings can be achieved.

The spokesman for Gloucstershire County Council said: “These troubled families tend to be struggling with multiple problems – from being involved in crime to children missing school or drug or alcohol abuse issues.  We know that the earlier we can get involved and provide support, the more chance we have of helping them to get more out of life, preventing their children from coming into care and supporting them to be a positive force in their communities.  Providing intensive short-term support gives us a huge opportunity to turn lives around.  It is far more effective and less expensive to help families before they reach crisis point.”

Gloucestershire County Council is now in the process of inviting tenders to provide the service.