Skip navigation
Press release

Donna Molloy, director of policy & practice receives OBE for services to vulnerable children and young people in New Year’s Honours list

Award made in recognition of over 20 years in service of disadvantaged children, young people and families

Donna Molloy has been awarded an OBE for services to vulnerable children and young people in recognition of her involvement in many of the major Government initiatives aiming to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged children and families over the last two decades.

Donna Molloy has been awarded an OBE for services to vulnerable children and young people in the 2022 New Year’s Honours list.

Donna has been involved in many of the major Government initiatives aiming to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged children and families over the last two decades. She is currently director of policy & practice at the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF), an independent charity dedicated to championing and supporting the use of early intervention to improve the lives of children and young people at risk of poor outcomes.  Donna has held this role since the launch of EIF in 2013 leading the charity’s work to ensure evidence about ‘what works’ is used in national policy and local services working directly with Whitehall departments, public services and local areas. Donna was instrumental in the creation of EIF in 2013, following two reports for the coalition government by EIF founding chair and former MP for Nottingham North, Graham Allen.  

Prior to joining EIF, Ms Molloy spent over a decade in Whitehall. She led work on supporting families and parenting in the Social Exclusion Unit, Prime Ministers Strategy Unit and the Home Office where she developed cross-government commitments on family support and parenting in Louise Casey's 2006 Respect Action Plan. At the (then) Department for Children, Schools and Families she continued to develop cross government policy on support for vulnerable families overseeing the growth parenting support and Family Intervention Projects from pilots to a core service in all local authorities. In the (then) Department for Communities and Local Government, she helped set up the Troubled (now Supporting) Families Programme which remains one of the most significant national policies aimed at supporting families facing multiple and complex challenges.

In her work at EIF, Donna has continued to play a leading role in supporting the development of national policy and local services to improve support for families and children. She led EIF’s work to restate the case for early intervention in the influential 2018 report Realising the potential of early intervention; leads EIF’s high performing policy and practice team building relationships with Government, sector bodies and local areas and regularly acts as a primary spokesperson for EIF; she played a key role in the successful bid and subsequent development of the £200m Youth Endowment where she continues to have a role as an Associate Director.  

Dr Jo Casebourne, chief executive of the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF), commented:

“Over the course of more than 20 years, Donna has made an outstanding contribution to improving public services for vulnerable children, young people and families. Her work has helped to shape some of the most significant policies for vulnerable children, put families squarely in the frame of Whitehall policymaking, and energised efforts to translate complex research so that it shapes both national decision-making and local delivery of vital public services.

“Donna is an invaluable member of the EIF team, and highly regarded and respected by senior figures across government and the voluntary sector. This is a testament to the quality of her work, and the way she works: as a team player who is always finding innovative ways to solve problems, and never loses sight of the big picture.”

Professor Nick Pearce, chair of EIF, commented:
It is wonderful that Donna Molloy has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List. She has been a tireless advocate for disadvantaged children and families for many years, and her deep expertise has been critical to shaping public policy on early intervention. She is hugely respected by those working with children, young people and their families in local government, voluntary sector organisations, and Whitehall alike. The trustees of the Early Intervention Foundation couldn’t be more proud of Donna and we are delighted that she has been honoured for her work.

Donna Molloy commented:

 “I’ve seen first-hand countless times the difference that high quality support for disadvantaged children and families can make. I’ve been fortunate to have been able to develop a career focussed on this issue and it’s quite something to receive this recognition for my work. I have had the privilege to meet and work with some inspiring individuals along the way. I hope some of them see this and know how grateful I am to them

About the contributors

Dr Jo Casebourne

Jo is chief executive at EIF.

Prof Nick Pearce

Nick is chair of trustees at EIF.

Donna Molloy

Donna is director of policy & practice at EIF.