Safe Ground - Using drama to educate prisoners and young people at risk in the community


Family Man

family-man-topFamily Man is an intensive group-work programme for men and young men in prison.

It uses family relationships as a vehicle for developing skills essential to education, training and employment, while challenging attitudes and thinking and contributing to desistance from crime.

The programme uses drama, fiction, group discussion, games and written portfolio work to support students to develop and maintain their family relationships.

Students are required to work with an adult Supporter throughout the programme.

A seven week family relationships programme for men in prison
Programme length:
Modular delivery over 6.5 weeks (delivered full time) or thirteen weeks (delivered part time)
Who the programme is for:
Groups of 14-20 male prisoners aged 18 years or above.
Where is the programme delivered:
In category A, B, C and resettlement prisons.
Staff required:
Two full-time tutors and a part-time family support worker.
Uses role play, group discussions, games written portfolio work and letter writing, as well as working face-to-face with a nominated adult Supporter
Qualifications offered:
We have not offered qualifications in the past 12 months, but this is something we are open to look into to.
Delivery options:
  • Safe Ground provide training, resources and all relevant support and quality assurance for your staff to deliver Family Man.
  • Safe Ground provide experienced staff to deliver the programme in your establishment.
Aims of programme:
  • Develop and maintain family relationships
  • Challenge attitudes and thinking
  • Support ETE progression
  • Enhance group work and communication skills
  • Coordinate targeted support services and agencies
  • Realistic goal-setting
  • Contribute to desistance process
  • Improve prisoner-staff relationship
  • Improve basic literacy
  • Consolidate positive identity
  • Improve health and wellbeing

Delivery Sites

Programmes delivered between 2003 - 2017
Students have completed the programme
Completion rate
Qualifications awarded
Qualifications awarded per student on average

“There could be little doubt of the enduring impact this programme had made on these men and their families or of its consequent potential to strengthen the social bonds which could contribute to subsequent desistance from crime.”
Boswell Research Fellows, Family Man Impact Study, 2011


Video outlining the impact of Family Man

Video outlining the impact of Family Man

Safe Ground have commissioned 9 independent evaluations and reviews of the Family Man programme, the most recent of which are:

  1. Ministry of Justice Data Lab (2015): Reoffending Analysis This analysis assessed the impact of Family Man on reoffending. The one year proven reoffending rate for Family Man graduates was 29%, compared with 42% for a matched control group of similar offenders(p value = 0.10).
  2. Boswell Research Fellows (2011): Family Man Impact Study Longitudinal study assessing the programme’s impact on family relationships,problem-solving skills, ETE and resettlement though surveys and in-depth interviews with graduates and family supporters.
  3. Professor James McGuire (2009): Family Man: An outline of the theoretical basis of the programme set out a formal conceptual basis for the change processes thought to be
    activated by the programme, connecting the objectives of the programme with materials and exercises used in its sessions via an identified set of psychological change mechanisms.

What do our students say about Family Man?

“He would never sit in a circle at school when they sang songs; he would never join in like he has done on this course.”
Supporter (Mum), HMPYOI Isis, 2013

“Family Man gets men engaged in what they are going to do about their offending behaviour and has a very good record of getting students into education.”
Ian Mulholland, Director of Public Sector Prisons, NOMS

“I kept coming back to prison. Even though my partner loved me, she was about to call it a day. But Family Man challenged me, gave me the skills to understand her and the children, to learn to listen, and for her to understand me too. We have to keep working at it, but I’ve been out 9 months now, I have a job, and our family life has never been happier.”
Robson, Family Man Graduate, 2011


For more information on our delivery packages, please contact us at  or phone 0207 091 9004

Sign up to our newsletter

Get Involved with Safe Ground

We'd love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have. Send us an email,
make your specialist training requests, stay in touch, check out our YouTube channel
and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.