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early action

A Rough Guide to Early Action

We instinctively understand the importance of acting earlier to enable people to thrive. This is emphasised in education, and there is even political appetite for rehabilitation through the criminal justice system. So why is the concept of acting earlier not common practice in other sectors?

A Rough Guide to Early Action

Early action is enabling people to overcome problems before they become harder to tackle. Most people agree that this is a common sense concept, but the Task Force is often asked for concrete examples to show how it works in practice. This report showcases seven stories of projects or services from across the UK that are acting earlier in dealing with social problems.

These include the postal service in Jersey calling and checking on older people to support them to live independently in their homes for as long as possible; Lancashire police employing people recovering from prison, homelessness or addiction to renovate houses that are either rented out to people in recovery or sold for profits that are reinvested; and the NHS partnering with the housing sector to prescribe boilers and heating improvements for the homes of people with chronic lung disease to reduce their contact with acute medical services.

The stories are from a range of sectors that are working with people at different stages of their lives to overcome different problems. It shows the relevance of early action for all sectors, at all stages of the lifecycle and at each stage of prevention, from services that prevent problems arising altogether or those that stop repeat problems reoccurring.

The report draws out insights about implementing early action that cut across sectors, so we hope that these examples will inform and inspire you to start thinking about how to apply early action to your area of work or give you fresh ideas for how to continue to practice it. It is part of an ongoing project to showcase the effectiveness of early action, so we are continuing to collect stories from across the UK. If you have an early action story you would like to share, please get in touch to help us grow our practical understanding of ‘what works’.

Get in contact with David Robinson, chair of the Early Action Task Force.

ISBN 978-0-9932273-0-1 This publication is available as a free download.