The case for early intervention

Regardless of the speculation, Tony Blair is trying to spark a debate on key policy themes, with a series of lectures under the theme of ‘Our Nation’s future’ . His third lecture is on social exclusion (the previous two were on criminal justice and public health). It charted Labour’s successes on poverty and outlined the case for early intervention with children (video here WMP reqd). He identified four priority groups children in care, 7,500 families with complex problems (alcohol and/or substance abuse/offending etc), teenage parents and people with mental illness. He highlights how “… 2.5 per cent of every generation seem to be stuck in a life-time of disadvantage and amongst them are the excluded of the excluded, the deeply excluded.” He emphasised that: “Children from the 5 per cent of the most disadvantaged households are more than 100 times more likely to have multiple problems at age 15 than those from the 50 per cent of most advantaged households.” An important issue and debate but will anyone be listening?