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European Social Fund Plus

Home-based service helps families in need to stay together

family in therapy

Families in crisis are reuniting and reconciling, thanks to a family-therapy service funded by the European Social Fund in Malta. 

Home Based Therapeutic Services (HBTS) is offered to families who experience issues related to violence, poverty, abuse, physical and mental illness, as well as concerns related to child abuse and neglect.  

Known as a 'last resort service', the key to the project’s success is its 'family preservation' model. The model focuses on addressing the risks to children directly, with the aim of helping them to remain with their families rather than being placed elsewhere. 

As one HBTS Coordinator puts it, ‘We reach those deemed unreachable and console the inconsolable. We are the voice of the voiceless and a shoulder for the weary’. 

Families with complex needs do not often engage with office-based support.  HBTS team members therefore work with families in their homes, along with offering services at a number of community centres.  

Luana Aquilina, Manager at HBTS says: ‘Clients’ voices are placed at the forefront of our work. Our team members' skills, knowledge and stamina are instrumental in empowering clients.’  

This person-centred approach not only increases the likelihood that vulnerable families will engage with the service, but also ensures that interventions offered by the HBTS team cater for each family's unique needs. Depending on their requirements, families might need intensive support from up to four professionals for a few hours each week.  

The approach is clearly working. Since the launch of the home based therapeutic services, the number of Care Orders issued in Malta has decreased – and more families are staying together. 

Clients have been enthusiastic about the project’s focus on enabling change, 'I now know a lot of things that I did not know before about parenting. It changed my view, my perspective – everything... I am very grateful to the community service, my case worker – all who made this possible. It changed me a lot. It made life important to myself and my children'.

Project details

Project name
Home Based Therapeutic Services (activity within ESF.02.063 - Knowledge, Training, Communications and Support Measures in Support of Vulnerable Groups)
FSWS (Foundation for Social Welfare Services) – partner organisation of project beneficiary MSFC (Ministry for Social Justice and Solidarity, The Family and Children's Rights)
628 on December 2020
Project start
Project end
Contact details
Thomas Galea
+356 23345121
Total budget
€2 548 311
EU Budget contribution
€2 038 649