Program for Rapid and Intensive Intervention for Families (PIRIMF)

Program snapshot

Age group: Adolescence (12-17)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Families

Topic: Aggressive/violent behaviours; Antisocial/deviant behaviours

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting; Social services setting

Location: Quebec

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 1

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Program for rapid and intensive intervention for families (Programme d’intervention rapide et intensive en milieu familial - PIRIMF), which was designed and tested by the Centre jeunesse de Lanaudière, is aimed at young people (and their families) referred to youth protection services on account of serious behavioural problems. The PIRIMF uses the instability created by a family in crisis as a lever of change to intervene in relation to these factors. The program’s intervention focuses on a number of principles including: intensity, flexible schedules, intervention in the family environment, and systemic intervention involving the young person, the parents, and various stakeholders in the community.

The program is centered on community mobilization; conflict resolution; counselling and social work; family therapy; leadership and youth development; skills training; and social emotional learning.


The main goals of the PIRIMF are to:

  • Help keep young people in a secure environment;
  • Decrease aggressive and antisocial behaviours by identifying and adhering to the needs and difficulties of the youth;
  • Increase the range of prosocial activities that involve youth and their families; and
  • Help parents develop effective conflict management skills.


The appropriate clientele for the PIRIMF is youth (and their families) between the ages of 13 and 17 who are experiencing behavioural problems which may be caused by family relationship problems, abusive parenting, or poverty.

Youth are referred to the program by youth protection services.

Core Components

The PIRIMF consists of six separate stages that take place over a 12-week period. These six stages include the following:

  • Stage 1 – Receipt and processing of the service request: Youth interested in participating in the program are assessed for program eligibility. If youth meet the requirements of the program, they are eligible to participate. If not, youth are referred to other services that can better meet their needs;
  • Stage 2 – Meeting with a specialized educator: Within 24 hours of recruitment, a specialized educator meets with the family and briefly explains the program components;
  • Stage 3 –  Needs assessments of youth and their families: During this encounter, the specialized educator observes the attitudes and the interactions of the family. The specialized educator also observes the family during usual activities in order to better understand the difficulties and/or the problem behaviours experienced. From there, the specialized educator is able to identify the youth’s needs along with the needs of their family members in order to guide future interventions;
  • Stage 4 – Intervention plan: Based on the data collected in stage 3, the educator, the parents, and the youth develop goals and discuss how these goals can best be met;
  • Stage 5 – Revision of the intervention plan: The intervention plan is revised every two weeks. This review assesses the achievement of the youth’s objectives and the relevance of the means used to meet those objectives; and
  • Stage 6 – Program conclusion: A review meeting takes place with the specialized educator, the parents, and the youth. If additional services are required upon completion of the program, youth are referred to the appropriate organizations.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: It is important for lead organizations to collaborate with the youth’s parents. In order to guide youth towards the right path, the youth’s parents must be accepting of the program and willing to participate.
  • Partnerships: Organizations should collaborate with family members, child services, protection services, and other community-based organizations.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy provided funding to implement the PIRIMF in Quebec between 2004 and 2006. The PIRIMF was implemented by the centre jeunesse de Lanaudière.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

As part of Public Safety Canada’s funding, an outcome evaluation studyFootnote1 of the PIRIMF in the centre jeunesse de Lanaudière (2004-2006) was conducted by Turcotte and colleagues. A quasi-experimental approach was taken using a control group consisting of youth from three other youth centres. Control group members received the services usually provided in those youth centres. Data was collected in two stages: at the beginning of the intervention and six months later. The data was collected using questionnaires administered to the youth and parents, along with information from the participants’ files. The experiment took place over 32 months and involved 124 families and children, including 77 in the experimental group and 47 in the control group.

Results from this evaluation showed the following:

  • In terms of family cohesiveness and the relationship between the youth and the mother, the situation of the PIRIMF participants improved more than the control group;
  • Compared to the control group, participants in the program needed a shorter monitoring time in the protection system and fewer placements. Data on placements during the experiment indicated that 31 youth (40.3%) who participated in the PIRIMF were placed during this period compared to 38 youth (81%) from the control group; and
  • Those who were placed underwent fewer displacements, which means that their placements were shorter and they required fewer resources. Looking at the total number of days of placement during the six-month period in question, the youth who participated in the program were found to have been placed 31 days on average, as opposed to youth in the control group who were placed for 92 days on average. The difference between the two groups is significant.

For more information, refer to the National Crime Prevention Centre’s (2007) publication.

Cost Information

During the evaluation period, it was estimated, based on expenditure and monetizable results, that the cost per youth involved in the PIRIMF was approximately $825 (CAD) (Turcotte et al., 2007).


National Crime Prevention Centre. (2007). Programme d’intervention rapide et intensive en milieu familial (PIRIMF). Evaluation Summary. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada. Available from:

Turcotte, D., et al. (2007). Programme d’interventions rapides et intensives en milieu familial (PIRIMF). Final Evaluation Report. Submitted to the National Crime Prevention Centre, Public Safety Canada (Unpublished report).

For more information on this program, contact:

Centre jeunesse de Lanaudière
260 Lavaltrie Road South
Joliette, Quebec J6W 5X7
Telephone: 1 (800) 229-1152

Record Entry Date - 2018-03-08
Record Updated On - 2018-04-23
  1. 1

    A process evaluation study of the program was also conducted through Public Safety Canada’s funding. For more information, communicate with the Research Division, Public Safety Canada.

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