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Family Matters No. 75 - September 2006

Maintaining the gains

Sustainability in prevention and early intervention
Alan Hayes

Abstract

Prevention and early intervention offer the potential to address and overcome a wide range of problems in development, health, learning, behaviour and wellbeing. But how can these benefits be maintained? This article explores some of the social systems that may sustain the benefits of prevention and early intervention initiatives. Examples of successful interventions in early life particularly in preschool education are explored and the importance of these interventions connecting to systems that sustain their impacts, such as families, child care provisions, schools, peer groups, further and higher education, community organisations and the world of work. The discussion highlights the need to develop and implement integrated policy, focused on key systems that can maintain the gains of investment in prevention and early intervention, through life.

Prevention and early intervention offer the potential to address and overcome a wide range of problems in development, health, learning, behaviour and wellbeing. But how can these benefits be maintained? This article explores some of the social systems that may sustain the benefits of prevention and early intervention initiatives. Examples of successful interventions in early life particularly in preschool education are explored and the importance of these interventions connecting to systems that sustain their impacts, such as families, child care provisions, schools, peer groups, further and higher education, community organisations and the world of work. The discussion highlights the need to develop and implement integrated policy, focused on key systems that can maintain the gains of investment in prevention and early intervention, through life.

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