How Family Psychology Mutual scales their business for better UK care intervention
Family Psychology Mutual (FPM) is a staff-owned social enterprise, aiming to reduce the number of young people who end up in care. They provide evidence-based interventions with proven family therapy techniques. Targeting young people at the edge of care for therapy across London, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Redbridge.
We spoke to Dr Tom Jefford, who explained their unique process. Where possible, they aim to heal relationships to keep that young person living with their family. Dr Jefford says “generally speaking, it’s better for society having a lower care population”. FPM work with local authorities, such as social care and youth offending staff, to prevent family lives from derailing.
Young people often end up in care due to an unstable home life. Sometimes, those problems could have been resolved with professional intervention. By talking about their issues and relationships with a therapist, wounds can often be mended, if not healed. Dr Tom explains their process makes “families become more socially adept” to deal with their multiple challenges .
The work FPM do is essential in helping to prevent people from falling into criminal exploitation, too. Many young adults get “stuck in a loop and have the worst of all circumstances”. FPM help to spot these negative behaviour patterns, intervening with gang-related crime.
The challenge: Projects ending with fierce competition for further funding
Unfortunately, the main projects FPM have been working on are coming to an end. They have been working hard in London with people at risk for criminal exploitation, but the budget has run out.
Another difficult factor, Dr Jefford explains, is the “market is still suppressed by covid”. During the pandemic, many local authorities had to focus on short-term solutions to deal with the immediacy of people’s needs. FPM have applied to roll-out various schemes to help people who are at risk of going into care, but they’ve struggled to get new contracts confirmed.
However, their recent project in London provided a great proof of concept for future programmes. Now they need to be able to explain the positive evidence and results to take it to scale. By managing behaviour, they’ve been successful in moving people away from the edge of care.
The solution: Present great results to investors to strengthen their case
FPM realised they need to set out their value better. Showing what they do, how they are doing it, and how that helps people, is an essential part of raising awareness and scaling their income generation.
A key part of this work was recognising that their website didn’t accurately reflect the work they do. That’s when Tom reached out to Growth Works for support to grow their enterprise.
FPM applied for funding through Growth Works. So far, they’ve not been able to invest in professional services to market themselves. They are using this time and funding to develop a professionally-designed website that they could adapt and evolve as they grew their business.
The results: New website and collaborative learning to support sustainable investment opportunities
Without the support from Growth Works, they would have only been able to do minor amendments rather than a full revamp. That means it would have become unfit for purpose quickly.
But “the money enabled us to take the good bits but completely rework it. Put new images in, put a new structure, refresh the content, use infographics,” explains Dr Jefford. Also, moving it onto a more responsive site that is now a necessity for their search engine optimisation.
Dr Jefford also attended a peer learning cohort with Growth Works. Although at first, he thought the diverse mix of businesses leaders would mean he “wouldn’t learn anything, I was completely wrong. It was good fun.”
He found it interesting that the sessions “talked a lot about leadership and how to authentically represent yourself and your business”. With change in the pipeline, this was helpful to “see things from a different perspective to solve our problems.”
Once the website launches, the site will directly support their capabilities to scale FPM’s project capabilities. Dr Jefford “would certainly recommend” eligible businesses to apply for Growth Works support.
And what does growth mean for Family Psychology Mutual? Though they can’t guarantee success, as sometimes care is inevitable, they are confident that support will help reduce care days. Like in a recent project with over 100 families in Suffolk, 2 years after FPM’s intervention they have saved more than 50,000 care days.
That’s growth you want to get behind.
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