Publication date: 12 February 2015Edited by: Haroon Chowdry and Carey Oppenheim
Spending on Late Intervention: How we can do better for less
Picking up the pieces from damaging social problems affecting young people such as mental health problems, going into care, unemployment and youth crime costs the Government almost £17 billion a year, our new research shows.
Our analysis finds that almost a third of this bill came from the annual £5 billion cost of looking after children in care. An estimated further £4 billion a year is spent on benefits for 18-24 year-olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) with another £900 million spent helping young people suffering from mental health issues or battling drug and alcohol problems.
This report contains further details of cost by outcome, as well as estimated of where costs fall on different agencies and areas of government. The methodology for estimating costs can be replicated for any local area, making this an invaluable resource for local areas struggling to make the case for investment in early intervention.
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Comments on Spending on Late Intervention:
Sir Tony Hawkhead, Chief Executive, Action for Children:
“This research puts a hard figure on the cost of waiting too long to help children and young people. It serves as a stark reminder of the great human cost of social problems that are all too often preventable if we act earlier. We must listen to children and young people about their experiences: what they say backs this impressive economic analysis.
All of us, whether politician, public services or charities need to concentrate on providing targeted early support to children and young people. In many cases, this is the only way they will reach their potential.”