New Orleans Intervention Model Reducing the risk of abuse and neglect

Babies and toddlers thrive in relationships where they receive warm, nurturing and responsive care.

Children need a loving, secure and stable home to give them the best start in life. It can be really disruptive for them when they move in and out of care, between birth parents and temporary foster carers.

Experiencing abuse and neglect increases the risk that a child will develop mental and physical health problems. This places an enormous burden on individuals, families and society.

However, some of these effects can be reversed if children are placed in secure, loving homes early enough in life.

Helping professionals make the right decision

The New Orleans Intervention Model, first developed in the USA, helps social workers and judges decide whether a child should stay with their birth family or enter care permanently.

Our aim is to help reunite the child with their family where possible, or place them permanently into care if not.

To help make the best decision for a child we use detailed assessments and intensive support for birth parents, the foster carers and the child from a team of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and support workers.

We're piloting the New Orleans Intervention Model in partnership with Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, with the support of the Big Lottery Fund.

A young boy plays

How it works

We provide:

  • assessment and treatment to families who have children in foster care aged between 6 months and 5 years old
  • therapy for parents, children, and for parents and children together
  • assessments of how well children are developing.

We help birth parents understand:

  • how their own early experiences affect them
  • how important their role as parents is
  • how they can make sure their children are safe and protected.

We also assess the child’s foster carer to help identify strengths and areas where we can offer help and support.

While we're working with a family, we keep in close contact with the child’s local authority social worker to discuss progress.

We report on the findings of our assessments to social work and legal teams, and give advice about the help the child needs. And, later on, we produce another report about the results of our work, which helps inform decisions about the child’s care.

Children's stories

"I didn't feel as though I was in control of my life… I was constantly being told by adults that I had to do things I didn't want to do."

Read Annie's story

Evaluating the impact

Find out how we're evaluating New Orleans Intervention Model.

Learn more

Where New Orleans Intervention Model is available


0141 440 6300


020 8253 1850

Thriving Families

Helping to define, detect and tackle neglect and provide the right support for families.
Thriving Families service

Face to Face

Improving the emotional well-being of children in care, or who may go into care, by helping them find solutions to problems affecting their lives.
Face to Face service

Taking Care

Helping to make sure children only return home from care when it’s safe and with the right support.
Taking Care service

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Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child's basic needs. It's dangerous and children can suffer serious and long-term harm.
Read more about neglect

Sexual abuse

A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn't have to be physical contact, and it can happen online.
Read more about sexual abuse

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is deliberately hurting a child causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts.
Read more about physical abuse

Child abuse and neglect

Find out what child abuse is, how to spot the signs, who is affected and what you should do if you're worried about a child
Read more about child abuse and neglect

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With your support, we help keep one million children safe from abuse and neglect – so they can look forward to a life of hope, and endless possibilities.

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