• By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Wednesday 19th January, 2011

Launch of the Allen Review on Early Intervention for Children

Commissioned by the Cabinet of the UK Government, Allen’s review covers the prospects of early intervention and, crucially in the current straitened economic context, new financial instruments.Launched later today in the financial heart of the UK capital, the first part of the review will make important recommendations about the advance of evidence-based early intervention programs. Speaking to Prevention Action ahead of the launch, Allen commented, “There has been a lot of welcome investment in the early years in the last decade. But with important exceptions it has not left its mark. Now money is short, we have to get smarter. We need to be more intelligent. “At the heart of my review are three sets of recommendations. First, I want to see greater use of evidence based programs, those early intervention strategies that are proven to work. Second, I want to see a small number of places being given permission to demonstrate what can be achieved with high quality early intervention. And by achievement I mean children getting the social and emotional bedrock they need for a successful life, and also better economic returns for our investments.“Third, I want to establish an independent foundation to provide the intelligence that local communities, voluntary and private agencies and the major commissioners of children’s services will need to make more effective decisions.”This commitment to programs, places and an independent foundation has been welcomed across the political spectrum in the UK. Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I warmly welcome the report. Our plans for early intervention will only succeed if they are based on robust evidence of what works. Graham's report provides a rigorous framework for assessing which programs make a difference and then gives clear and practical advice about where taxpayers' money can be spent most effectively.”Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg spoke of the need for change: “This report by Graham Allen provides plenty of food for thought. But it is also a call for action – the action needed to ensure that every child in Britain can realise their full potential.”The appointment of Allen, a Labour MP, from outside of the coalition Government, to lead the Review reflected his longstanding efforts to build cross-party support for early intervention. The leader of his Party, Ed Miliband, threw his support behind Allen when he said: “This report is incredibly timely. New and established forms of public and private sector investment in early intervention are so important. The backing for past achievements, the call for future progress and above all the need to expand early intervention are at the heart of this review. Graham has demonstrated very powerfully how parents and children need support from the very earliest years to ensure that all children – regardless of their background – have opportunities to flourish and succeed.“That is why new and established forms of public and private sector investment in early intervention are so important. I welcome this independent report, its backing for past achievements, its call for future progress and above all the importance it places on expanding the early intervention approach to improve children’s lives.”Prevention Action will continue its coverage of the launch of the Allen Review in the coming days. Executive Editor, Michael Little, who contributed to the Review, writes on the Prevention Action blog today about the relevance of Allen’s findings for the child protection, child welfare and youth justice services.

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