Key Points:

Dysfunctional families rife with drug and welfare dependency could be the taken into care as part of radical social welfare changes by the Government.

Intensive family therapy -- which can include removing members from their home -- is one option the Social Development Ministry is examining as it works to deal with dysfunctional homes , The Dominion Post reported today.

The proposal is understood to have been considered in the wake of the Kahui twins' deaths.

Green MP Sue Bradford backs the approach, which is common in Sweden.

The entire family -- not just the child -- often went into care, usually in an apartment, where they had access to 24-hour support services, the newspaper reported.

At a parliamentary select committee this week Ms Bradford asked Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes whether consideration had been given to the approach here.

Mr Hughes said the Government was carrying out a pilot programme working with dysfunctional families and, after that, "we may need to use an intensive family therapy approach".

A Social Development Ministry spokeswoman said intensive family therapy was a well-established technique, aimed at getting people to review their behaviour and the consequences of their actions.

After completion of the ministry's Vulnerable Families pilot -- a voluntary programme in which the state works with 50 families -- such approaches could be considered.