Stronger Families

Providing family therapy to help children in the county remain with their families and out of the care system.

  • Location

    Suffolk; Norfolk

  • Launch

    Mar 2019; Feb 2019

  • Area

    Systemic Support for Families

Collaborators & funding partners

  • Suffolk County Council

  • Norfolk County Council

  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

  • Life Chances Fund

Delivery Partners

  • Family Psychology Mutual

  • Functional Family Therapy

Collaborators & funding partners

  • Suffolk County Council

  • Norfolk County Council

  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

  • Life Chances Fund

Delivery Partners

  • Family Psychology Mutual

  • Functional Family Therapy

  • Mila founded and leads Bridges Outcomes Partnerships (BOP). At BOP, we work to radically improve human services and environmental initiatives to improve outcomes for people and value for society. Programmes BOP supports are dedicated to empowering people across the world to improve their lives, in areas ranging from education and wellbeing to housing, child protection, employment and environmental protection. Mila is on boards of Positive Families Partnership, Stronger Families, Forward, North East Lincolnshire Thrive, Ways to Wellness, Education Outcomes Partnerships, along with other family, employment, and refugee support focused programmes.

    Mila is also a Trustee for Clore Social Leadership, organisation dedicated to providing social leaders with world class leadership development.

    Prior to Bridges, Mila’s career spanned public, private, and third sector. Mila helped create and run Education Generation, a crowdsourcing social enterprise focused on enabling young leaders in low-and middle-income countries to participate in some of the world’s most forward-thinking education programmes.

  • Iciar Ania, Executive Director at Bridges Outcomes Partnerships, has been working with Bridges for the last 6 years, during which time she has designed and implemented more than 10 Outcomes Partnerships related to:

    • Supporting care experienced young people to access employment and education opportunities,
    • Supporting young people with their mental health and wellbeing,
    • Helping families stay together through family therapy,
    • Supporting vulnerable women at risk of multiple removals and/or sexual harm and violence, and
    • Supporting unpaid carers to improve their wellbeing and sustain their caring role.

    Prior to joining Bridges Outcomes Partnerships, Iciar worked in Investment Banking at Arcano Group and Nomura Group. Iciar also spent 2 years in Cambodia working for a charity that supports families of people with physical and intellectual disabilities.

    Iciar holds a Bachelor of Science from Northeastern University in the USA and from ICADE in Spain and an MBA from INSEAD.

  • Liz’s role as a Manager involves supporting the development and delivery of a range of projects within both our international and UK-based portfolios.

    Prior to joining BOP, Liz received her MBA with Honours from London Business School, where she acted as President of the School’s Social Impact club, and interned with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and a blue carbon start-up. She started her career in investment management, before transitioning into the social sector to work for a boutique impact advisory firm in Detroit, Michigan.

    Liz graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Notre Dame.

  • Marie is the Programme Manager for Stronger Families. Stronger Families provides access to a therapeutic intervention (Functional Family Therapy) for young people and families in Norfolk and Suffolk; Marie is responsible for ensuring the programmes achieve their stated goals and objectives – helping young people to stay out of care.

    Prior to joining BOP, Marie worked with Catch 22 and held the role of Practice Lead for Pause Worcestershire which supported vulnerable women. Pause Worcestershire was a social outcomes partnership aimed at supporting women to break the cycle of children being removed from their care. Before that, she worked within the Local Authority as a child protection social worker and team manager.

    Marie holds a Masters in Social work from Anglia Ruskin University.


Stronger Families, a social enterprise partnership coordinator, was created by BOP to deliver an outcomes-based contract to support families in Suffolk and Norfolk to stay together.

With the expertise of chosen delivery partner Family Psychology Mutual, Stronger Families supports children and adolescents at risk of being taken into care or in care, providing them (and their family) with access to a proven therapeutic programme (using Functional Family Therapy, FFT).

The programme is designed to help them address behavioural and emotional issues, built on a foundation of acceptance and respect.

Delivery innovations

An outcomes partnership has enabled a much more collaborative, flexible approach to problem-solving. This has facilitated a number of significant delivery innovations, including:

  • In collaboration with Social Care and Early Help teams, Stronger Families was able to extend the service to a younger age group so that more families can access the service.
  • A flexible budget has enabled Stronger Families to hire additional therapists and an additional clinical supervisor, providing additional capacity and clinical supervision to support the team.
  • Partnership Boards have enabled joint improvements to contractual and operational areas, such as using locality-based referral and success rates to offer targeted support.
  • The clinical team utilises its “psychology fund” to offer access to individual therapy to carers/young people during and after the family therapy.


On average, c.95% of young people from families participating in the Stronger Families programme stay out of care.

  • 731

    Starts to the programme

  • 249457

    Days of care averted

  • £7.3m

    Outcomes achieved

  • £23.4m

    Value to Government