Charities unite to ensure next government prioritises early intervention

Written by Matt Ritchie

Over 50 voluntary sector and public finance experts have backed a call by the Early Intervention Foundation for the next government to prioritise prevention of social problems.

The EIF has published a joint letter co-signed by organisations including Barnardo’s, NSPCC, Action for Children, and Women’s Aid, calling for a long-term commitment to early intervention for children to reduce the need for spending on late intervention by 10 per cent by 2020.

It follows research from the foundation that found the government spends £17bn a year on ‘late intervention’ on the social problems affecting young people.

EIF argues for prevention and early intervention to be a key theme of the government’s Spending Round plans, and for greater investment in effective early intervention. The foundation wants funding and inefficient spending redirected into a dedicated and ring-fenced Early Intervention Investment Fund tied to the life of the next parliament. These funds would be supplemented by private sector capital such as social investment.

EIF chief executive Carey Oppenheim said the signatories to the letter want to send a “powerful message” to the next government that prioritising and investing in early intervention will save money while giving a generation of young people and their families the best chance of thriving.

“The main political parties have rightly emphasised the need for early intervention and prevention in their manifestos and elsewhere,” Oppenheim said. “This indicates a serious cross-party commitment to shifting spending from late to early which should be a key priority for whatever government is elected or formed next week.”


Carey Oppenheim, chief executive, Early Intervention Foundation
Imelda Redmond, chief executive, 4 Children
Vivienne Evans, chief executive, Adfam
Professor Sonia Blandford, chief executive, Achievement for All & professor of Education and Social Enterprise, UCL Institute of Education.
Sir Tony Hawkhead, chief executive, Action for Children
Javed Khan, chief executive, Barnardo’s
Naomi Delap, director, Birth Companions
Dr Andrew Reeves, chair, British Association for Counselling and Therapy
Chris Wright, chief executive, Catch 22
Gracia McGrath OBE, chief executive, Chance UK
Andy Bell, deputy chief executive, Centre for Criminal Justice
Christian Guy, director, Centre for Social Justice
Stephen Lee, chief executive, Centreforum
Anne Longfield OBE, Children’s Commissioner
Kathy Evans, chief executive, Children England
Rob Whiteman, chief executive, CIPFA
David Robinson, co-founder, Community Links
Anne Fox, director, Communication Trust
Emer O’Neill, chief executive, Depression Alliance
Andrew Harrop, general secretary, Fabians
David Holmes CBE, chief executive, Family Action
Dave Edmundson, chair, Family Health and Wellbeing Consortium
Stephen Dunmore, interim chief executive, Family and Childcare Trust
Adrienne Burgess, joint chief executive, Fatherhood Institute
Frances Crook, chief executive, Howard League for Penal Reform
Mary Hartshorne, director of outcomes and information, ICAN
Daniela Barone Soares, chief executive, Impetus PEF
Angela Morgan, chief executive, Includem
Judy Moore, member, Infant and Toddler Forum
Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder and chief executive, Kids Company
Julian Corner, chief executive, Lankelly Chase Foundation
Rosie Ferguson, chief executive, London Youth
Jenny Edwards CBE, chief executive, Mental Health Foundation
Michael O’Toole, chief executive, Mentor UK
John Diamond, chief executive, Mulberry Bush
Jacob Tas, chief executive, NACRO
John Tierney, director, National Association for Therapeutic Education
Anna Feuchtwang, chief executive, National Children’s Bureau
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive, National Council for Voluntary Organisations
Jonathan Douglas, director, National Literacy Trust
Jonathan Breckon, head of the Alliance for Useful Evidence, NESTA
Peter Wanless, chief executive, NSPCC
Catherine Roche, chief executive, Place2Be
Joe Hayman, chief executive, PSHE association
Dr Carrie Herbert MBE, president, Red Balloon
Mark Winstanley, chief executive, Rethink Mental Illness
Susanna Abse, chief executive, Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships
Brett Wigdortz OBE, founder and chief executive, Teach First
Alison Hadley, director, Teenage Pregnancy Exchange
Tim Morfin, chief executive, TLG The Education Charity
Danny Kruger, chief executive, West London Zone for Children and Young People
Polly Neate, chief executive, Women’s Aid
Denise Hatton, chief executive, YMCA England
Sarah Brennan, chief executive, Young Minds

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