• By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Thursday 20th January, 2011

Allen's Early Intervention: The Next Steps

Allen, Member of Parliament for the midlands City of Nottingham, and long time supporter of prevention and early intervention, was commissioned to write the report by the Coalition government when it came to power in May 2010.Clegg stressed that improving social mobility was a priority for the government, and that better early intervention policies and programs were an important part of achieving change.The Deputy Prime Minister also talked about the Government’s commitment to diversifying investments in the social life of the UK. He gave several examples of how private funders were being attracted to support children as much for the potential economic return as the impact it may have on children’s lives. “We want to see a much greater pull on capital outside of Government and will soon be announcing policy changes to make it easier for individuals and organisations to invest in what were once seen as the preserve of the public sector”.Talking to a mixed audience of policy makers, local authority commissioners and representatives of the business community, Allen referred to the 34 recommendations in his report while stressing that “there is no need for new legislation or immediate additional public expenditure for them to be implemented”.He commented that "the provision of successful evidence-based early intervention programmes remains patchy, and littered with obstacles. As a consequence the overwhelming bias in favour of existing policies of late intervention remains, even though we know these policies are known to be expensive and of limited success.Allen’s report recommends greater use of 19 evidence based early interventions, all selected using standards of evidence broadly similar to those used by the Blueprints for Violence Prevention group in Denver and the Best Evidence Encyclopaedia in Baltimore and York.His hope is that 15 local systems and communities will be given permission to make radical changes to children’s services with a much greater use of evidence based early intervention policies and programs. Allen recommends that support for the developments comes from a new foundation that will provide independent investment advice.A strength of Allen’s approach is the support he has carried from all the main political parties. The Review carries messages of support from the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. There is also backing from chief executives of the largest local authorities in the country and from the business community.The full report is available as a pdf at the foot of the article.Allen now begins the second phase of his review looking at the need to attract greater external investment into early intervention and for new financial tools.ReferencesEarly Intervention: The Next Steps, An Independent Report to Her Majesty’s Government by Graham Allen MP, HM Government, 2011

Early Intervention report

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