Council early intervention projects get funding boost

By Laura McCardle

| 02 December 2014

Three local authorities have been awarded £7.6m of government funding to deliver early intervention projects for young children and their families.

The Transform Challenge Award will support a number of early intervention projects

The councils – Croydon, Essex and Newcastle – will use the funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s £90m Transform Challenge Award to support their work with the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF).

All three authorities are “pioneering places” – 20 local areas that work closely with the EIF to develop innovative practice on early intervention – and have been testing new arrangements for integrating services for children under the age of five as part of the EIF's Getting It Right for Families review.

Croydon Council has been awarded £1.5m to take forward its Best Start initiative.

The scheme will bring together health and early intervention services, including health visitors and family support, into a single multi-agency programme designed to support families with children under the age of five.

Newcastle City Council has been awarded £2.8m to redesign the mental health support available to children and their families.

The initiative will also focus on helping infants overcome parental substance abuse.

Meanwhile, Essex County Council has been awarded £3.3m to deliver its Early Intervention – Transforming Essex programme, which will identify and support victims of domestic abuse and their children.

Donna Molloy, head of implementation at the EIF, said: “We are delighted that so many of our early intervention places have succeeded in obtaining funding to transform their early intervention services.

“These were strong bids that all drew on EIF evidence in different ways.

“We are looking forward to continuing to work with our pioneering places as they implement their plans, evaluating the projects and sharing this learning more widely.”

The Transform Challenge Award supports projects that aim to improve public services and reduce government spending in the long term.

Other authorities awarded funding for child-focused projects include Hartlepool Borough Council, which has been awarded £750,000 for The Better Childhood Programme, and Kirklees Council, which has been awarded £400,000 to support looked-after children.

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