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Published -
September 27, 2021
Evidence review

Supporting families, preventing violence: the evidence base

When children live in homes where there are challenges like conflict or domestic abuse, alcohol or substance misuse or where other family members are involved in crime, they’re more likely to become involved in violence.

There’s clear evidence that interventions to support families could be effective in preventing children becoming involved in violence. But lots of the evidence is international rather than UK-based, and many of the underlying studies have limitations. That’s why we’re investing up to £10 million in our grant round, A supportive home: helping families to overcome challenges.

We commissioned our partners at the Early Intervention Foundation to conduct a review of what the evidence already tells us about different types of family support programmes. This briefing is a summary of their findings.


This briefing is useful for anyone interested in family support programmes and how they can help support children and keep them safe from involvement in violence.

It covers four types of family support programmes:

  1. Parenting programmes (including programmes for foster carers or people working with children in residential care), which help parents / carers and their children to develop positive behaviours and
  2. Family therapy interventions (including for children in foster care), which offer structured forms of therapy to support whole families.
  3. Programmes to reduce parental conflict, which are specifically designed to improve relationships between parents or carers.
  4. Domestic abuse interventions, which are specifically designed to prevent and reduce harm to children and adults.

And for each, it outlines:

  • What these programmes include.
  • What the evidence says about how effective the programme is.
  • Some relevant case studies, to show you what these programmes are like in practice.