What is early intervention?
By OnePlusOne, 05 November 2012 Early intervention
Early Intervention has long been a commonly used term in the family support sector. And now, with anger about the long overdue launch of the Early Intervention Foundation and tangible fears about Local Authority Early Intervention Grants disappearing, what this term actually means in practice is a hot topic once again.
At OnePlusOne we prefer to talk about early ‘action’ rather than intervention. We know families don’t want to feel things are being done ‘to’ them and that couples view their intimate relationships as a private sphere. Even in tough times most families want to feel able work it out for themselves; they might need some pointers, but they don’t want others intervening.
At OnePlusOne early action in relationships is about looking at ways of helping people do things for themselves. By sharing what’s known from both the literature and face to face practice we can help couples to better understand the nature of relationships and recognise the strengths that will help them build a resilient relationship.
Normalising relationship issues is crucial and fundamental to a preventative approach; OnePlusOne encourages families to nurture their relationships and understand both the risk and protective factors.
In so doing we seek to bring about a culture change where it is okay to ask for help when it is first needed.
We challenge policy makers not only to commit to this approach, but also to view relationships as a crucial public health issue key to the wider wellbeing agenda.
Research shows there are considerable positive advantages for both adult and child emotional and physical wellbeing when relationships are stable. Children do best in families where parents get on and are not distracted by stresses stemming from their relationship with each other.
While evidence shows that marriage affords couples and their children a number of health and emotional benefits, it is the quality of the relationship rather than the relationship’s status that provides the crucial protective factors.
But despite the mounting evidence that early action works best, the sad fact remains that too many couples only seek support when things go wrong. By the time professional help is sought, for many couples problems have already become entrenched. For all the rhetoric about early intervention, current culture dictates that action is still often too late.
For more information on OnePlusOne and it’s work promoting early action in relationship support visit the About Us section and find out about the Early Action on Relationship Support (EARS) Alliance.