16th September 2008
In this report entitled Early Intervention: Good Parents, Great Kids, Better Citizens, former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith and former Labour minister Graham Allen call for more support for early intervention schemes in communities. They contend that the main political parties in the UK must unite around policies that will "avert social collapse" caused by rising violent crime and disorder.
This report, published jointly by the Centre for Social Justice which is chaired by Mr Duncan Smith and the left-leaning Smith Institute, calls
for agreement from all parties on the importance of projects designed to bolster the life chances of children who are living in deprivation, from the moment they are born.Such schemes - some of which already exist - shore up young families and can "halt the slide to delinquency", say the MPs. They also warn that unless concerted action is taken, Britain will be "saddled with a new generation of disturbed and aggressive young people doomed to repeat and amplify the social breakdown disfiguring their lives and others around them".
The two MPs urged Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron to endorse further moves, including:
• Promising to pursue early intervention policies in their party manifestos.
• Setting up a long-term research study to compare groups of children with and without early intervention
• Pledging to create a National Policy Assessment Centre to examine and recommend the best early intervention policies.
They have also called on central and local governments to host an Early Intervention Leader's network in the UK, and said the policy should be at the heart of the government's next review of public spending.
The Treasury should find a way to release more funds now to finance schemes that would ultimately achieve "massive" savings in the future, they added.