Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

Overview of the work  

We are working in partnership with Cumbria NHS Trust and Cumbria County Council to use some of the principles of Love Barrow Families (LBF) to change the way services work with families in Barrow.

The Love Barrow Families approach is based on the on principles of whole family working, relationship based practice and development of community capital. The approach was co-designed with families and workers who held a remarkably similar vision of what “good” could look like in relation to on-going support – consistent support, not to feel fear about child being taken away.

Families are viewed as experts on their own lives. The intervention centres around promoting resilience and building on community assets. Practical and therapeutic intervention is informed by the Dynamic Maturational Model (DMM) of Attachment (Crittenden 2008) which helps provide an understanding of relationships and allows underlying problems within the most complex, entrenched families to be identified and addressed.

The initial three years of the project have been evaluated by Northumbria University and have shown a positive impact on families and more broadly on the use of emergency services. We are working with Children and Young People’s mental health partnership and the strategic commissioning and partnership partners in Barrow to embed the following Love Barrow Families principles across Barrow:

  • Co-designed and co-produced
  • Building strengths and resources
  • Mutual accountability
  • Open trusting relationships
  • Continual learning and adaptation
  • Integrated and consistent network of support

Methodologies being used

Relationship building


Work with families and professionals to embed the LBF principles into practice

Work with Strengthening Families team, Early Help Services Children, Children and Young People’s Working Group to embed LBF principles into community

Work with families to explore what they roles they want to play in the future and how they can develop peer supports


Robson K, Tooby A and Duschinsky R (2015) Love Barrow Families: A Case Study of Transforming Public Services in Vincent, S (Ed) (2015) Early Intervention: Supporting and Strengthening Families, Dunedin, Edinburgh

Crittenden P, Robson K and Tooby A (2015) Validation of the School-age Assessment of Attachment in a short-term longitudinal study in Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol. 20(3) pp348–365 (This research project provided the impetus and idea for the development of the Love Barrow families project)

Crittenden P M (2017) The Secret Lives of Children in Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry Vol. 22(3) pp345-357 (one of the cases from Love Barrow families is cited in this paper)

Online articles
Barrow families in need get lifeline Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (2014)

Hope is contagious New Start Magazine, 18 December 2014

Major donors need to take risks if charities are to tackle social problems by Ramrayka L (2015) The Guardian

Vincent S (2016) The Magic is in the Co-Production: Full Report from the Evaluation of the Love Barrow families Project Northumbria University

Love Barrow families family film for the evaluation (2016)

Innovation Fund 2011 – Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust

Integration Bursary 2012 – Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust

Nominated in the Group/Project of the Year Category in the local Love Barrow Community Awards 2015

Shortlisted in the national Children and Young People Now Awards 2015

Nominated in the Group/Project of the Year Category in the local Love Barrow Community Awards 2016

Winner of the Ambassador of the Year Award (Katrina Robson, Project Lead) at the Love Barrow Community Awards 2016

Shortlisted in the national Children and Young People Now Awards 2016

Presentations to
Annual Members Meeting, Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust, Barrow-in-Furness on 3 October 2013

Innovative models and practices for engaging with families and relational networks conference, ESRC, University of Birmingham on 15 January 2015

Kings Fund conference, Community health care services: what does good look like?, London on 26 March 2015

Annual Integrating Children’s Services Conference, Health Builders, CLIC and Cumbria CCG, Penrith, Cumbria on 9 July 2015

*International Association for the Study of Attachment (IASA), 4th International Conference in Miami, Florida, USA – Attachment and Treatment on 9, 10, and 11 of November 2015

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