Press note: for immediate release
The Home Secretary today announced that funding for the Early Intervention Youth Fund would be doubled to £22 million.
Donna Molloy, director of policy and practice at the Early Intervention Foundation, says:
“Youth violence is a chronic problem that needs a sustained, strategic and coordinated response, and we agree that early intervention is a critical part of the solution. However, we mustn’t fall into the trap of assuming that any early intervention is better than none. It’s great to see new investment for early intervention announced by the government today, but it is vital that this is channelled into evidence-based, effectively targeted and well implemented forms of early intervention, to ensure that these precious resources are more likely to translate into better outcomes for young people and their communities.
“This isn’t always easy to do: there is a lot we don’t yet know about how best to prevent certain types of problems or certain behaviour. But there is an awful lot that we do know, and the government should act on this.
“We know that effective forms of early intervention can be delivered both in schools – building vital social and emotional skills, such as managing emotions and regulating behaviour – and in the home, to support effective parenting and tackle family conflict. These interventions can build the strong family relationships which are important protective factors against involvement in violence and can have an impact on highly relevant risk factors, such as aggression and conduct problems.
“We also know there are popular forms of early intervention which have not been shown to have positive impacts for violence outcomes among young people – such as 'tough love' or approaches based on deterrence or discipline – and others, such as mentoring, where we don't yet know enough about what works for different groups of young people. It is imperative that new initiatives and programmes introduced through this fund are rigorously evaluated over time to record their actual impact on young people’s outcomes.
“We need to start using the evidence base in attempts to tackle youth violence, and would like to see the Home Office working with Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure these resources are directed to the kinds of approaches that are most likely to be successful.”
- The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) is an independent charity that champions and supports the use of effective early intervention to improve the lives of children and young people at risk of experiencing poor outcomes. As a member of the What Works network, EIF is dedicated to expanding and communicating the evidence-base related to early intervention in the UK. For more information, see: http://www.eif.org.uk/
- For more on the government's Serious Violence Strategy, see 'Serious violence strategy: Government needs to start engaging with the evidence base', a blog post by Donna Molloy and Stephanie Waddell of EIF.
Head of Communications, EIF
T: 020 3542 2481 (switchboard)