Early intervention: putting evidence into action to improve the lives of children and families

By Ben Lewing

Our vision at the Early Intervention Foundation is for every baby, child and young person to realise their potential and lead happy and successful lives. For many this means getting extra support early, before problems become more difficult to reverse.

But how can we know which intervention is likely to have the most positive impact on that child’s life? 

Next week EIF’s national conference examines the theme of ‘evidence into practice’, bringing together professionals from across the early intervention sector to consider the challenge of ensuring evidence is accessible, relevant and useful.  The conference provides a platform for the early intervention community to exchange ideas and experiences with others who are passionate about early help. 

Evidence in action
Early intervention is about responding to signals of risk and solving problems before they become more serious and entrenched. Responding with support that is specific to the needs and developmental stage of children can have a lifetime positive impact as well as saving public money.

Some interventions have a strong evidence base which shows that they have had a causal positive effect on outcomes for children – we know that they can work.  Other interventions are more experimental and are yet to show if they can help children.  Choosing interventions that have a good chance of improving children’s lives, that are well matched with local needs, that are affordable and deliver value for money, and that can be implemented well – these are the things that are at the heart of effective commissioning.

But applying evidence to practice is not always easy as we know from our work with local areas and our networks, particularly when looking at whole systems of support for families. 

Join us to share insights and best practice
At the conference we’ll be examining how far evidence can guide decisions about commissioning, service delivery and practice, and how it can help us to make the best use of resources to improve lives. We’ll be exploring why practice doesn’t always take account of evidence, and whether there are questions that evidence can’t answer, across a range of topics from social mobility to relationships, and integrated services to parenting.

We’re looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible next week. If you’d like to join us but haven’t yet booked, you can still secure your place.

Ben Lewing is Senior Adviser at the Early Intervention Foundation.

Find out how using Capita One can help with evidencing the impact of early intervention initiatives


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