We’re delighted to be once again approaching our annual National Conference. This year our theme is ‘Recognising Risks, Support Brighter Futures’ – a reflection of our new focus on targeted early intervention as a means of supporting those children and young people with early signals of risk of poor life chances.
It is still an absolutely crucial time for early intervention in the UK - with difficult budgeting decisions being made at both national and local levels, it is vitally important that early intervention services relied upon by children, young people and their families across the country are not abandoned.
The Prime Minister’s forthcoming Life Chances Strategy presents us with a real opportunity to promote the most effective and economical approaches to supporting healthy relationships between parents (whether together or apart) and good parent-child interactions in the early years. These are two areas in which EIF has been working in-depth over the past few months and which will form central discussion topics at the conference. With the new findings from our What Works review on inter-parental relationships and child outcomes (launched this week) the conference will be an unmissable opportunity to learn more about this emerging policy frontier.
Integrating local systems can be key to delivering high-quality services when money is tight, and we are looking forward to sharing insights from some work to map local systems currently being developed. There will also be an opportunity to hear about the work of our Early Intervention Academy for Police Leaders, which has been running since last autumn.
Finally, we’re looking forward to welcoming colleagues from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for what promises to be a fascinating debate on early intervention opportunities and challenges faced by these distinct but interlinked nations. Over the next few years, we hope to be working more and more with organisations outside of England and hope this session will serve as a first step towards both the forging of closer links, and greater understanding of the impact devolution may have on the implementation of early intervention in local areas.
We hope many of you will join us on 12th April to discuss these issues and more – and to help us continue to make the case that even in straitened times, investing in effective and timely early intervention must never become a luxury.