The government has funded the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) since 2013, including almost £2 million in 2018-2020, to assess, evaluate and disseminate evidence of what works. The EIF has assessed the benefits of a wide range of specific early intervention programmes, and suggested that whilst producing robust estimates is challenging, there is a compelling argument that the costs of intervening early are likely to pay off to society in economic terms. In particular, they highlight that the long-term economic benefits are considerable where early intervention leads to labour market gains, such as improvements in employment and earnings.
The value of early intervention is reflected in statutory guidance ‘Working together to safeguard children’ (2018), which is clear that providing early help is more effective in promoting children’s welfare than reacting later - playing an important part in supporting children and young people to achieve better outcomes. The government has also committed £920 million to the troubled families programme, an early intervention approach which aims to achieve significant and sustained improvement for families with multiple, high-cost problems.