Next year’s Budget must include money designated to early intervention in children’s services, according to the second instalment of Graham Allen’s report on early intervention, due to be published later this month.
“We can’t make these policy changes over the next couple of weeks, but what we can do is ask that next year we have a budget with an eye to early intervention,” Allen, the Labour MP for Nottingham North, told a Westminster Social Policy Forum yesterday.
Allen said that this investment, along with use of community budgets, the Big Society Bank and other funding sources, could make his report recommendations a reality.
Allen said the implementation of early intervention services would not only save money on provision in the long-term, it would also ensure that training costs were not wasted.
“Early intervention will mean we’re not just fire-fighting, we will have a smoke alarm system in place as well,” he told the forum.
“This will liberate people in the service sector to do the jobs they signed up to do. For instance, health visitors can be more than just a safety net- we can liberate that training and talent to fulfil the purpose it was designed to fulfil.”
Allen said he believed his vision was possible, as long as national government was on board.
“We have the most centralised state and government in the whole world and we have the ability to do this,” he said. “It’s just a matter of choice and leadership pushing this forward.
“The big test will be whether we can ensure the government can let something grow that isn’t within Whitehall. I think that’s possible.”
Allen was commissioned by the government to chair an early intervention commission to produce a national review launched by Iain Duncan Smith last year. The final report is expected later this summer. The first report was published in January.
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