• By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Saturday 09th June, 2007

UK regions to pilot US family support program

A home visiting program developed in America to support first-time parents is to take centre stage in a new UK government program designed to reduce social exclusion. The $13m initiative will be piloted among 1,000 families in ten English regions.Over the last decade, the UK government has made some progress in reducing poverty, but a flurry of prevention and early intervention programs has had little impact on a small proportion – a particularly difficult two or three per cent of families.David Olds's Colorado-based Nurse Family Partnership may have been favored because of the focus on parenting behaviors, prior to and after the child is born. As well as parenting skills, it targets drug, alcohol and tobacco use, and helps parents get back to work.Critics will point out that selecting socially excluded families has the potential to stigmatise both parents and children.The initiative is one of several emerging from the UK government's Social Exclusion Task Force. One branch of the Task Force's work is devoted to 'whole family' approaches.

Back to Archives