Brighter Futures praised by US expert

By on 01/07/2009 in News, Video News

 

A world expert on tackling anti-social behaviour described work being done with young people in Birmingham as “unique” and at the “cutting edge”.

Dr Del Elliott said as far as he knew there was nowhere else in the world implementing “evidence based” intervention programmes on such a large scale.

Dr Elliott is Director of the Centre for the Study of Prevention of Violence at the Institute of Behavioural Science at the University of Colorado.

His work has been influential in transforming children's services in Birmingham to increasingly focus on intervention work with a proven track-record in improving the lives of young people.

Speaking to delegates at the Children, Young People and Families' directorate’s Brighter Futures conference at the International Convention Centre, Dr Elliott said: “I am really excited to see what you are doing. It is unique.

“There is no place I know of in the US or elsewhere that is at the forefront to such an extent of taking programmes that we know work and implementing them on such a wide scale.

“That is a whole new frontier of research and you are right on that cutting edge.”

Dr Elliott said he believed spending money on programmes that help stop anti-social behaviour happening offered better value for money in the long run.

Birmingham City Council estimates that spending £41.7 million in areas such as parenting, savings of £101 million can be made over a 15-year period on cash that would otherwise be spent dealing with more entrenched problems in young people later in life.

Tony Howell, Strategic Director of the Children, Young People and Families directorate, said: “This is about a long-term process. It is not something you do overnight.”

Birmingham City Council is piloting four early intervention programmes shown by research to be effective - the Family Nurse Partnership, The Incredible Years, Triple-P and PATHS.

The overall aim is to improve six key outcomes identified through surveys of young people as vital to their wellbeing.

They are physical health, behaviour, emotional health, social literacy, literacy and numeracy and job skills.

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