Issues in Earlier Intervention: Identifying and supporting children with additional needs

Earlier intervention is a cornerstone of government policy on supporting children and families with additional needs. This review and scoping study was commissioned to provide a more in-depth understanding of what is meant by ‘earlier intervention’ (defined as intervening early in the life course of a problem, or with a population at risk of identifying that problem, but not necessarily early in life). It draws on research evidence to highlight the relevance of issues such as the timing, duration and intensity of interventions; identification of the target population; the acceptability and ‘reach’ of programmes; and concepts such as prevention and risk assessment.

The review focuses on additional support for children who are experiencing or likely to experience difficulties, and does not cover universal services available to all children and their families.