Program for rapid and intensive intervention for families (PIRIMF)

Program for rapid and intensive intervention for families (PIRIMF) PDF Version (202 KB)

ISBN: 978-0-662-69982-8

Table of contents

The Programme d'intervention rapide et intensive en milieu familial [Program for rapid and intensive intervention for families] (PIRIMF) is aimed at young people referred to youth protection services on account of serious behavioural problems and their families. The program was designed and tested by the Centre jeunesse de Lanaudière [Lanaudière Youth Centre].

The program was designed to help keep young people in a secure environment and to keep families together. It was also combined with the psychosocial intervention usually provided in youth centres.

The PIRIMF's underlying philosophy is that behavioural problems can arise from and be perpetuated by various factors in a child's upbringing, including: erratic or abusive parental practices, dysfunction in the family, poverty or marginalization of his/her social network, as well as personal characteristics of the young person and his/her family and of their environment. 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 the principles set out in Homebuilders, which are: intensity, flexible schedules, intervention in the family environment and systemic intervention that requires involving the young person, the parents and various stakeholders in the community. It is comprised of a number of stages, including assessing the needs of the young person and the family, developing an action plan and reviewing the action plan. The program is spread out over a period of about 12 weeks.

Project assessment

The experiment took place over 32 months and involved 574 families and children, 446 of whom were between 13 and 17 years old.

The evaluation was carried out between September 2004 and December 2006. A quasi-experimental approach was taken using a control group consisting of young people comparable to those in the intervention group from three other youth centres. Control group members received the services usually provided in youth centres.

The total sample was comprised of 124 families and children, including 77 in the experimental group and 47 in the control group. The evaluation was restricted to young people aged 12 and up. 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.

A process and outcome evaluation was conducted. The main objective in evaluating the process was to determine whether the PIRIMF had been applied as initially designed. Two dimensions were studied: the characteristics of the participating families and the characteristics of the interventions. Evaluation of the outcomes sought to determine whether the PIRIMF was helping to improve educational practices, parent-children relationships, family functioning, and support networks for the young people and their families. It also sought to determine whether the program could lead to improved behaviour by the young people and whether it was helping to prevent crime, victimization and placement. A cost-benefit analysis was also conducted looking at the program costs and the outcomes observed.

Key findings

The process evaluation revealed that:

The outcome evaluation revealed that:

The cost-benefit analysis revealed that:

Lessons learned

Lessons learned include:


The Program for rapid and intensive intervention in families (PIRIMF) established in the Lanaudière Youth Centre demonstrated the beneficial effects of rapid and intensive intervention in the family environment, especially among adolescents exhibiting serious behavioural problems.

The measurement of the intervention outcomes among young people and their families in the PIRIMF extended over six months; an evaluation over a longer time period would provide more information on the effectiveness of this integrated program centred on youth at risk and their families.

For more information or to receive a copy of the final evaluation report please contact the National Crime Prevention Centre at 1-800-830-3118, or visit our website.

It is also possible to visit the website of the Association québécoise des Centres jeunesse (in French) at:

Register for the NCPC mailing list to receive information from the Centre.

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