Positive Families Partnership - Bridges Fund Management








Positive Families Partnership

Supporting young people and their families to stay together

Investment Strategy

Outcomes Contracts


Healthier Lives

Date of initial investment

December 2017

Bridges Executives

Mila Lukic


Over half a million children are the subject of abuse in the UK each year. Where a child is no longer able to live with a birth parent, they are put into the care of the Local Authority. On any one day across the UK, 63,000 children are living with foster families. About 50% of foster placements for teenagers break down. If a child’s first placement breaks down, they are likely to enter a cycle of breakdowns which reduces a child’s opportunities to develop secure attachments. It may also exacerbate existing behavioural and emotional difficulties. In some cases, this behaviour becomes so challenging or detrimental, that a child ends up being cared for in a secure children’s home. These homes cost over £200k per year per place, following which, research shows, it is often far harder to reverse these behaviours.

Investable Solution

Positive Families Partnership is a pioneering initiative to help vulnerable young people in five London boroughs access therapeutic programmes that can help them stay out of care and deliver better outcomes for them and their families. It will work with over 350 young people involved in serious antisocial behaviour and/or substance misuse, who have been identified as being at risk of going into care. These vulnerable young people and their families will be offered access to therapeutic programmes designed to help address the young person’s behavioural issues and improve how the family functions. These programmes are intensive, holistic interventions, based on rigorous evidence.

This initiative, the first of its type in London, has been jointly commissioned by the five London Borough Councils of Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Bexley, Merton and Newham, with support from the Big Lottery Fund using National Lottery funding. It will be delivered by three specialist partners, who collectively bring decades of experience in implementing evidence-based programmes across the UK: Family Psychology Mutual, Family Action UK, and the South West London & St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust.


The programme aims to work with over 350 young people over a period of 5-6 years. It will look to avert children from care, and for those averted from care, increase the time they spend out of care.