This evaluation project is managed by the Vulnerability and Violent Crime Programme, which was set up by the College of Policing from a grant awarded by the Police Transformation Fund. It is one of eight projects overseen by the programme. Avon and Somerset Police are running a Think Family Early Intervention programme that involves allocating PCSOs and PCs to support families. Families are selected based on their experience of multiple challenges, which may include crime, anti-social behaviour, truancy, unemployment, mental health and domestic abuse. Families are signposted to key workers, school workers and council agencies. The ultimate aim is to prevent early warnings escalating into an intergenerational cycle of offending, and to reduce demand from these families on public services.The research project will evaluate the implementation of the Think Family Early Intervention programme, and measure how effective it is at improving outcomes for families, the police service and wider society. A cost-benefit analysis will also attempt to identify any economic benefits of the intervention.
This project will employ a multi-method design using questionnaires, focus groups and interviews with officers, partner agencies and families. Computer records will also be reviewed.Information will be collected on how the intervention is deployed, officers’ views around its operation, how well families engage, and how partner agencies work together with the police force. In terms of the impact of the intervention on families, indicators such as missing from home episodes, attendance at job interviews, employment, quality of life, etc. will be collected. In terms of impact on the service it will look at changes in demand, achievement of service goals, etc. To determine the impact on society, crime, health, school, and employment data will be considered. Data will be collected on families at the start and end of the intervention period (6-12 months). They will also be compared to propensity score matched families who have yet to go through the intervention.