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Early intervention

This page provides details of a CBF-led three-year project on early intervention called Paving the Way.

Children with learning disabilities whose behaviours challenge need the right support early in childhood.  Early intervention using methods such as Positive Behaviour Support can reduce the severity and frequency of challenging behaviour and improve quality of life.

The right support provided locally, at the right time, and delivered in partnership with families can also avoid the high costs of crisis intervention.

The CBF led a three-year project on early intervention called Paving the Way.

Paving the Way: The Early Intervention Project

This three-year project was funded by the Department of Health and was delivered in partnership by the Challenging Behaviour Foundation (The CBF) and the Council for Disabled Children (CDC). The project did not deliver early intervention itself; the aim was to facilitate improved early intervention across the country.

The project delivered a range of useful resources.  The Paving the Way report summarises the findings.

View: PAVING THE WAY report

The project influenced national reports and guidance, including:

  • The NICE guidance  covers interventions and support for children, young people and adults with a learning disability whose behaviours challenge. The guidance focuses on the assessments into behaviour that challenges, so we can understand the behaviour and “improve their quality of life” through early interventions.
  • A review by Dame Christine Lenehan Director of CDC which published in 2017 highlights the issues facing children with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour and provides recommendations.
  • NHSE published guidance in 2018 on health services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability.
  • It has also led to innovative local early intervention work, for example in Cumbria and partnership work with researchers, for example Warwick University and the Tizard Centre.

Evidence

We are grateful to a group of key academics who worked to pull together the data and research evidence into a briefing paper.

A data supplement was also produced, providing a thorough overview of the statistics behind the key messages of the briefing paper.

View: Early intervention for children with learning disabilities whose behaviours challenge

View: Children with learning disabilities whose behaviours challenge

Furthermore, an estimate of the number of children in England with learning disabilities whose behaviours challenge has been made.

Each of these papers was the first of their kind in the field of early intervention for children with learning disabilities whose behaviours challenge. Together, they form a strong case for better early intervention.

Families’ Vision and Workshops

We ran seven workshops during the project to gather views from family carers, professionals, staff, commissioners, providers and members of the Challenging Behaviour National Strategy group. There was a huge amount of agreement about what good early intervention should look like.  The graphic below (illustrated by Pen Mendonca) shows the vision of early intervention developed with 27 family carers. There is appetite for change among professionals and commissioners in many areas of the country, and they need more information and support to help them work with families to get it right from the start.

To see a summary of each workshop please click the links below:

Workshop 1: Experts for driving change

Workshop 2: Family carers (relatives aged 0-18)

Workshop 3:  Family carers (relatives at transition age)

Workshop 4: Professionals and staff – Key messages and – Scenarios and alternatives

Workshop 5: Commissioners and service providers

Workshop 6 and  7: Experts for driving change

Evaluation

The project was independently evaluated to see if it achieved its intended aims and objectives, review the quality and effectiveness of the deliverables, and see if the project made a difference. 

The Early Intervention Project (EIP) was aiming to facilitate improved early intervention across the country to improve the quality of life and outcomes experienced by children with learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges.

Read the overall evaluation of the Early Intervention Project

Project updates

We have established an email reference group of those interested in the project. We will keep you updated via email, seek your views and input from time-to-time and inform you of future activities and resources. If you are interested in becoming a member please email pavingtheway@thecbf.org.uk or complete the short form below:

 

I'd like to receive Paving the Way project updates

Complete the form below to join the email reference group of those interested in the Paving the Way project.
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Early intervention

Early intervention

The CBF has produced various information resources showing how early intervention using methods, such as Positive Behaviour Support, can reduce the severity and frequency of challenging behaviour and improve quality of life.