Early Intervention is an approach which offers our country a real opportunity to make lasting improvement in the lives of our children, to forestall many persistent social problems and end their transmission from one generation to the next, and to make long-term savings in public spending. It covers a range of tried and tested policies for the first three years of children’s lives to give them the essential social and emotional security they need for the rest of their lives. It also includes a range of well-established policies for when they are older which leave children ready to face the challenges of each stage of childcare and of passage into adulthood – especially the challenge of becoming good parents to their own children.
There is now a very strong evidence base to support those intervention programs that actually work rather than those that are just well intended. Through Early Intervention the causes rather than symptoms are tackled and this can break the intergenerational cycles of dysfunction (for example on drink and drug abuse, low educational attainment, teen pregnancy, lack of aspiration to work, poor parenting, anti-social behaviour, lifetimes on benefits). This has the potential to significantly reduce later costs to the taxpayer as well as non-financial costs to society as a whole.
Graham has been Chair of One Nottingham in 2005 and developed Nottingham as an ‘Early Intervention City’ Over the next four years he set out to fulfil this promise with a shared vision of Nottingham as an ‘Early Intervention City’, with 16 interventions to break the 0–18 cycle of dysfunction. Nottingham coped heroically on meagre funds and incredible personal and partnership commitment.
Graham co-authored a book in 2008 "Good Parents, Great Kids Better Citizens" on Early Intervention with former Conservative leader Rt Hon Iain Duncan-Smith MP providing evidence of how Early Intervention can break intergenerational cycles of under-achievement and multiple deprivation. You can read it here.
Graham in July 2010 was invited by the Prime Minister to chair an Independent Review of Early Intervention to report to Her Majesty’s Government. Graham who was previously chair of Nottingham’s Early Intervention City published “Early Intervention – the next steps” in January 2011. The report argued how a range of well-tested programmes, low in cost, high in results, can have a lasting impact on all children, especially the most vulnerable. If an intervention is made early enough, children can be given a vital social and emotional foundation which will help to keep them happy, healthy and achieving throughout their lives and, above all, equip them to raise children of their own, who will also enjoy higher level of well-being.
Graham’s second report, ‘Early Intervention: Smart Investments, Massive Savings’ was published in July 2011, and soon afterward the Prime Minister commended the Reports. Please click here to read the letter.
Early Intervention Foundation
The Early intervention Foundation is now up and running http://goo.gl/rXwAKC. It aims to assess, advise, advocate for Early Intervention. The full run down of the EIF mission can be found here http://goo.gl/5sZzXO. The Foundation is a centre of excellence for all those involved and interested in the field of Early Intervention. It is an independent, not-for-profit organisation focusing on the promotion of successful, evidence based Early Intervention initiatives. The Foundation is not a service provider but will pull together existing, proven science and programmes and bring them to scale.
Uniquely it is not designed to provide the immediate gratification of one off donations to specific [and sometimes unproven] programmes but to create a long term capability, a resource to be used over and over again by all who wish to “build out” the intergenerational cycle of dysfunction and disadvantage. The Foundation aims to facilitate the scaling up of existing, successful Early Intervention programmes and activities – it will be the centre of excellence on all matters related to Early Intervention, having assembled within our Consortium a powerful group of over 30 leading practitioners and academics in this field.
You can read a press release about EI Foundation opening
The Early Intervention Foundation's website can be found here: