Focus Family - Parents and Children Involved in Crime or Anti-Social Behaviour

As can be seen from the Crime page of the Family Outcome Plan (below) a wide range of factors can be considered for a family to meet this criterion. The plans focus on priority areas of youth crime, anti-social behaviour and adult prisoners.

The aim of the work is twofold; to put support in that will reduce criminal behaviours and to help families break the cycle of intergenerational behaviours in order to enable them to be more proactive citizens.

Some useful things to consider are:

  • Can be either a child or adult who has committed a crime.

  • The likelihood of a young person engaging in crime if their parents/carers are regular offenders. The young person may not have committed any crimes but if they are at sufficient risk then please contact Focus Family for advice on making a referral.

  • If the young person is not attending school regularly, do you know where they are?

What difference will this approach make?

Focus Family is a way of working that aims to improve families' experience when they need additional help. A benefit of this is that it will support service reform through reduced duplication of services, reduced demand on and re-referrals to acute services. Many of the families identified as meeting Focus Family criteria have intergenerational, complex issues with agencies involved at an individual level. It is important for families to receive a holistic support package and to ensure this is the case it is expected this work will be joined up as a Team around the Family (TAF).

The Focus Family ethos is outlined in the Family Outcome Plan Guidance (185.76 kb PDF)

Research has shown that families most likely to benefit from co-ordinated support have multiple challenges such as unemployment, poor school attendance, involved with crime and poor health.  Often the criminal behaviours are due to committing domestic violence or abuse.

If you recognise your own family as meeting any of the criteria below, or you are working with a family who meet criteria, please read the information to help guide you through the process section for more advice.

If you would like to know more about the Focus Family work please go to About Focus Family

If you would like more support please see the provided range of useful websites.

Theme 1: Parents and Young People Involved in Crime or Anti-Social Behaviour
Identified IssuesSignificant Progress (outcome measure)Sustained Progress (outcome measure)
An under 18 year old who has committed a proven offence in the last 12 months

At least 33% reduction in offending

Successful completion and no breach of Youth Court Order

In the last 6 months of the intervention
An adult or child who has received an anti-social behaviour intervention (or equivalent local anti-social behaviour teams and measure) in the last 12 months

At least 60% reduction in offending

Successful completion and no breach of Youth Court Order

An adult prisoner who is less than 12 months from his/her release date and will have parenting responsibilities on release

Adult does not reoffend


Successful completion and no breach of licence conditions and/or community order, including alcohol and drug programmes

No reoffending over the course of meeting all other outcome measures
An adult who is currently subject to a licence or supervision in the community, following release from prison, and has parenting responsibilities
An adult with a suspended sentence, who has parenting responsibilities
Adults and children nominated by professionals because their potential crime problem or offending behaviour is of equivalent concern to the indicators above

A was a young parent, who had recently taken on responsibility for his young child. His child had been placed with A, under the supervision of Children's Services, and A was providing a stable and secure environment for the child. This was proving to be a challenge for A, but was one that he was enjoying, and becoming more confident at. A was being supported by his mother, and this was extremely helpful to A and his child

A had gone through the process of proving paternity, and was in dispute in respect of payments of Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit. Unusually, Income Support had been awarded to A, without him being in receipt of Child Benefit, as he had been able to prove he was the legal guardian. Income Support is paid to Lone Parents, who are not in work or who are working less than 16 hours per week, who have responsibility for a child under the age of 5.

A was being supported by Children's Services, assisting with parenting and supervising the Child in Need process, due to historical issues.

At our meeting in December A was open and honest about his home circumstances. We discussed the issues around Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit, and made arrangements for A to claim Child Benefit. This was not straightforward, as in order to do so, A had to have the birth certificate. A was tasked with obtaining the necessary information.

We discussed what options were available to A, in respect of moving towards work or training.
A was keen to return to work, in order to provide a more secure financial future for his child. We explored his skills and experience, and examined A's entitlements to In Work Benefits. A was pleasantly surprised at what the figures showed. A was going to be around £ 90 per week better off working than when claiming Income Support. We explored entitlement to Working Tax Credit, including the financial support for childcare.

A also disclosed that he also had a significant (historical) conviction, which could potentially limit his future employment prospects. We discussed the type of work that he would enjoy doing (he preferred to be working outdoors)  A also had an interest in motor vehicles and we discussed employers who may be sympathetic to his situation. A left the meeting enthused about looking for work, with information on how to approach potential employers.

We arranged to meet again early in the New Year.

A contacted the Focus Family Employment Adviser in a month later to say he had approached an employer and had a potential offer of work which he wanted to discuss.

We met at Jobcentre, where we explored what had been offered. I contacted the employer to confirm arrangements and hours, and agreed that 16 hours per week would meet A's needs, and the employer was happy to go ahead and employ A on that basis.

A was given help to apply for Working Tax Credit, and provided with specific information, on what to expect in terms of payment amounts. A was also assisted in notifying Income Support to close the claim.

A remains in employment, is happy to be working, continues to get support from Employment Adviser and Children's services, is more financially secure and moving forward towards a positive future.