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NCH Scotland has pioneered the development of a new approach to the problem through its Dundee Families Project which has been recognised by both the Westminster Government and the Scottish Executive as a model of best practice. The success in helping reduce the problem of nuisance neighbours in Dundee has resulted in the manager of the Dundee project, Gill Strachan, being invited by the Home advertising services proposal Office to take part in the meeting in London on May 12. It will involve a small group of 25 key practitioners, academics and policy makers who will discuss the best way forward in tackling an issue that affects towns and cites across the UK.

Louise Casey, head of the Governments Anti-Social Behaviour Unit will explain the Governments approach to the problem. The meeting is designed to identify and develop effective policy to respond to problem across the UK. Alcohol and/or drug problems are common among families needing the most intensive support. All of the families who work with the project have made a commitment to change and most of them see it as a last chance for themselves and their child. The project, which is the first of its kind in the UK, has helped to prevent families being evicted and children taken into care while reducing the number of neighbour disputes. It is run by NCH Scotland in partnership with Dundee City Council.

Similar projects are now being set up in Manchester and Bolton and other areas have shown an interest in developing the Dundee model. We are delighted to have been invited to contribute to this important meeting. The problems caused by anti-social behaviour are widespread and we have shown that they can be tackled in a positive manner that is delivering real benefits.

Our work has demonstrated that there is a real and effective alternative that is helping families to change and preventing disorder in our neighbourhoods. Virtually everyone interviewed in the study parents, children and young people, representatives of other agencies praised the work of the project, saw it as offering a unique service and wished it to continue.