Children: Social Services

Department for Education written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Pinnock Baroness Pinnock Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have analysed the value and effectiveness of early intervention approaches in children’s social care; and if so, what actions they have taken as a result.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The government has funded the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) since 2013, including giving the EIF almost £2 million in 2018-20, to assess, evaluate and disseminate evidence of what works. The evidence on effectiveness in early intervention, including in children’s social care, is the core focus of the EIF.

The EIF has assessed the benefits of a wide range of specific early intervention programmes and suggested that, whilst producing robust estimates is challenging, there is a compelling argument that the costs of intervening early are likely to pay off to society in economic terms.

In particular, the EIF highlights that the long-term economic benefits are considerable where early intervention leads to labour market gains, such as improvements in employment and earnings. Published research on the value of early intervention can be found in the ‘Realising the potential of early intervention’ report, attached, which can also be found at the following link:

The value of early intervention is reflected in the statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)’, also attached. The guidance is clear on the fact that providing early help is more effective in promoting children’s welfare than reacting later and that early intervention plays an important part in supporting children and young people to achieve better outcomes. This is why the government has recently confirmed funding for the Troubled Families Programme for 2020-21 as part of the one-year Spending Round, securing continued support for an early intervention programme which aims to achieve significant and sustained improvement for families with multiple and high-cost problems.

HL17826_report (PDF Document, 3.38 MB)
HL17826_report (PDF Document, 2.22 MB)

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