Evaluating Early Help: A Guide to Evaluation of Complex Local Early Help Systems

Published by
Early Intervention Foundation

Effective early intervention works to prevent problems occurring, or to tackle them head-on when they do, before problems get worse. It also helps to foster a whole set of personal strengths and skills that prepare a child for adult life.

This guide seeks to improve the evaluation of early help by setting out some principles that could help places to make progress in evaluating local services.

The publication describes in detail the following six principles: 

  • Principle 1: Know where you are starting from
  • Principle 2: Prioritise outcomes to evaluate
  • Principle 3: Embed evaluation in commissioning and practice
  • Principle 4: Use high-quality measures
  • Principle 5: Make comparisons
  • Principle 6: Follow through

"Local authorities have a vital role to play in taking this forward, but they cannot do it alone, particularly in the current financial climate. Action is also needed centrally, at a national level, to put in place the support local areas need to apply these principles so that they can develop and implement systems to robustly evaluate their early help arrangements." - Donna Molloy, Director of Policy and Practice, Early Intervention Foundation.