Early Intervention: Smart Investment, Massive Savings

A review of the final Report by Graham Allen, July 2012

Early Intervention is now the new mantra. The methodology for how services to children are delivered  is to be transformed from crisis intervention to, working with children just as soon as the signs that all is not well are spotted.

This is an exceptional report in the field of social policy. Firstly since it brings together the work of Eileen Munro, Frank Field and Clare Tickell to provide an integrated approach. But particularly since it is a cross-party development, and it sets out a possible different source of funding. It is, therefore the blueprint for fundamental change in the way  services to children and their families are to be delivered.

“blueprint for fundamental change in the way services to children and their families are to be delivered.”

It will require of professionals a greatly enhanced level of skill in recognising the physical and emotional signs of deprivation and abuse. There can be little doubt that those working with children and their families will want to spend more of their time working intensively with children. But, I would suggest, that there will be some concerns. Some will take to this way of working, because they have always worked in an intensively perceptive and sensitive way.  There will be others that believe that they have these skills, but perhaps do not – and this, no doubt, will not be easy to accept.  For others they will be deeply uncomfortable with this intense professional relationship building. Perceptive and deeply analytical skills training will be necessary.

Managers need professional leadership skills to work with staff to support and understand  how best to guide the change.  For some time it has been possible to avoid the deep professional understanding required of the emotionality of children and families.  This will no longer be the case.

Further Reading:

Early Intervention: Smart Investment, Massive Savings