Making a case for prevention

The Centre for Social Justice are looking again at their Breakthrough Britain work and this morning I was asked to give evidence on prevention to their working group on addictions.

The case I made is similar to the one I’ve made in other forums; that there is a case to be made for making sure that we resource prevention appropriately, that we are sure that what we spend is having the effect we’d want, that there are some approaches that offer a better hope of this happening than others, that leadership is critical, but that we also need to understand the needs of other stakeholders.

You can see the slides I presented below.

As you’ll see I ended by making three points:

  • Evidence based prevention and early intervention works;
  • That there is a job of work to do in getting the interventions that work to scale; and
  • That we need regular time in the curriculum and appropriate resources to deliver these programmes.

In the debate that happened around my presentation I was challenged on the effect size that prevention programmes – particularly universal programmes – might achieve, whether prevention should focus on family, school or in delivering environmental benefits, and if it might be a better use of prevention resources to allocate them to Sure Start.

Hopefully I gave a good account of myself, but we’ll have to wait a while before the final report is drafted, and I’m not the only witness the group will be calling to discuss education and prevention.

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