• By Sarah Blower
  • Posted on Tuesday 12th June, 2012

Systematic Concatenation

I have been reporting from the Society for Prevention Research (SPR)’s annual conference on Prevention Action this week. In one of my stories…

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  • By Michael Little
  • Posted on Wednesday 10th August, 2011

Separate but connected?

"There are pockets of our society that are not just broken, but frankly sick," said David Cameron on his return from Tuscany. Like the Prime Minister I have a strong belief in the power of communities to improve human development, and child development in particular.But the condemnation of young looters, echoed by Ed Milliband as he took his photo opportunity in front of a group of broom bearing y…

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  • By Michael Little
  • Posted on Tuesday 19th July, 2011

Response to the response

Four reviews. One response. Two more reviews promised. There has been a lot of reflection on how to better support child development since the Coalition Government was formed 12 months ago.Today, Education and Health Ministers Sarah Teather and Anne Milton published their reaction to the reviews commissioned from Labour MPs Frank Field and Graham Allen, Action for Children Chief Clare Tickell and…

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  • By Michael Little
  • Posted on Wednesday 11th May, 2011

Evidence Based Programmes, Child Protection and Munro

Eileen Munro today published the third and final part of her review of child protection for UK Government. She writes about the value and challenges associated with evidence based programmes, and is cautious about their value. The report includes a large quote to some notes that I prepared with my colleagues David Jodrell and Seden Karakurt about evidence based programmes in the context of child p…

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  • By Michael Little
  • Posted on Friday 01st April, 2011

Orchid in the woods

Every now and then, ambling through the woods of scientific orthodoxy that populate a conference like SRCD, one comes across a beautiful orchid. They are rare finds.Jane Costello’s natural experiment to test the effect of higher family income on the mental health of children in the Smoky Mountain Longitudinal Study was a great example. It is many years old now, but it stays in the mind.Jane&…

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  • By Michael Little
  • Posted on Monday 14th February, 2011

Allen Review and Family Group Conferencing..

The need for a standard is not only to help us do more things that are known to work, they are needed to do less things known not to work. Or known to have doubtful value. The current round of advocacy for Family Group Conferences (FGC) is an interesting case study. I have no strong feelings for or against this approach that brings together extended members of families whose children may be at ris…

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  • By Michael Little
  • Posted on Monday 17th January, 2011

Graham Allen is a heavy man

The Review is all about evidence based early intervention. It is about nipping problems in the bud and not waiting until they bloom in the gardens of child protection, youth justice, mental health and special education.Children’s services and their employees are usually described with strong adjectives. Foster care and juvenile detention is about the heavy end. There is the hefty burden of respo…

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  • By Cheryl Hopkins
  • Posted on Friday 09th April, 2010

Its Birmingham, UK - not Birmingham Alabama or Michigan

One needs only to compare the number of US-originated programmes substantiated by a robust evidence-base compared to the number of home-grown (or even European) counterparts. The scientists are sold on the idea. Programme developers, researchers, practitioners and policy makers are highly cognizant of the need for fidelity. The legislation supporting and funding the development of evidence-based…

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  • By Michael Little
  • Posted on Friday 15th January, 2010

Two societies building peace

Blogging gives a wary academic like me the chance to offer up half an idea for debate and trust that feedback and better information will help it on its way to becoming more useful.Over the years, I've had a rewarding association with the Basque Country of northern Spain, especially with San Sebastian. I like the life, I've got to know the culture and I've made some good friends.The Basque country…

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  • By Louise Morpeth
  • Posted on Friday 04th December, 2009

To Tooele, Utah, to see CtC in action

My day began with a 30-mile bus ride from Salt Lake City to Tooele, a town of 30,000 people in the Salt Lake valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains. I was not alone, there were 20 of us, off to visit a flagship Communities that Care project. The community’s pride in their achievements was apparent in the enormous efforts put into the programme arranged for us. The town has the lowest per cap…

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  • By Louise Morpeth
  • Posted on Thursday 03rd December, 2009

But what if communities really struggle to care?

It is the end of the training. The folks from Communities that Care have skilfully compressed their nine-day training into two. The team from the Casey Foundation and I have a solid grasp of the what and the how of the CtC system, and tomorrow we’ll see what it looks like when the rubber hits road.Thanks to the quality of the written products, it’s pretty easy to learn about the system. All th…

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  • By Louise Morpeth
  • Posted on Tuesday 01st December, 2009

Swapping hats on the way to Salt Lake City

I’m on my way to Salt Lake City for two days training in Communities That Care. It is one of a number of methods (Results based Accountability and Getting to Outcomes are examples of others) concerned with changing what is done to improve children’s lives. As someone who regularly trains others in a methodology for improving outcomes – in my case Common Language, I’m looking forward to the…

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  • By Michael Little
  • Posted on Tuesday 01st December, 2009

In Bristol I find the true SEAL

A balance has yet to be struck between the art of framing a national child development policy to apply at scale, and the science of developing an intervention that can be shown to improve children’s lives.There are many examples of the former but none that has made a clear impact on child well-being; many of the latter, too, but none that has been taken successfully to scale.An example of the in…

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  • By Michael Little
  • Posted on Thursday 26th November, 2009

Well-being? Social justice? Fight!

I was invited to give a presentation in Nottingham UK at the last of a series of six ESRC-sponsored seminars gathering “interdisciplinary perspectives on emotional well-being and social justice in education policy and practice” It was intended to reckon with the implications for education policy and practice – could or should education attempt to develop emotional well-being as a response to…

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  • By Michael Little
  • Posted on Thursday 17th September, 2009

Back to school

Its back to school time. A little later in England than in the US. A week into the new term I ask my 13 year old daughter how it is going.She says she mostly has good teachers this academic year. What is the difference between a good and a bad teacher I ask.Her reply goes something along the following lines. If you are in a class with some difficult students, then you want a teacher who is quite s…

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