'The WAVE Report is currently receiving significant interest in a number of Government areas, not least the Treasury. This report could have significant implications for London and allocation of Early Years resources.'
— Acting Chief Superintendent Michael Taylor, Metropolitan Police
Social care and family welfare services are in a unique position to drive outcomes for vulnerable families. This section lists a number of interventions that do this in a creative manner.
Healthy Families America
There is good evidence for the effectiveness of Healthy Families America in preventing child maltreatment. It is a national initiative to help parents get their newborns off to a healthy start. While participation is strictly voluntary, outreach is included in the initiative. Crucially, the home visiting is carried out by trained Family Support Workers rather than health visitors.
Highland Region in Scotland has set up a streamlined reaction system which ensures that the situations for at risk children are dealt with effectively, and in a streamlined manner, the first time they show up on the radar, thus saving the costs and consequences of children remaining in the system for years to come. It is a particularly innovative and interesting model of effective multi-agency working. Senior staff in Highland claim that the streamlined reaction approach has led to greater cost efficiency, lower juvenile crime and less child abuse. A comparison is made with the Croydon Total Place approach, with which there are some similarities.
The Croydon Total Place initiative has similarities with the above Highland Region approach, including team-working across agencies, single points of contact for difficult families, early identification etc, plus a number of additional ideas such as involvement of the community, proactively engaging parents and an Early Years Academy to train staff. An approach combining the best of both the Highland Region and Croydon models could deliver much improved outcomes for children as well as significant cost savings.
Circle of Security is a 20-week, group-based, parent educational and psychotherapeutic intervention designed to shift patterns of caregiving interactions in high-risk, caregiver-child dyads (pairs) to a more appropriate developmental pathway.