A new study has concluded that intervention in the homes of problem families could be more effective if it was carried out early by a single agency.
A report by the University of Canterbury has found that about 1200 babies are born per year to dysfunctional families.
Dr Annabel Taylor from the school of social work & human services says a single organisation targeting vulnerable families would be more effective in the long run.
She says there are too many agencies involved at present such as Child, Youth & Family, social workers and the court system.
Dr Taylor says $36 million per annum is needed for a single and effective early intervention programme. This could save $2 billion annually.