Girl listening to her mum

What works?

Based on the evidence to date, it appears that a number of areas need further clarification.

It is argued that there needs to be a clear vision of service integration at both regional and national level, which is be disseminated and promoted to staff at all levels. If the integration of services is to be achieved there needs to be more 'integrated thinking'.

Stakeholders also contend that there needs to be clarification of the core objectives of the Every Child Matters (ECM) policy to address the tension that some see between meeting the needs of children and families and making the roles of universal, targeted and preventative services clear.

There is also a call for an overall (interdisciplinary) strategy for service assessment and intervention, which also provides a common language and greater agreement on service thresholds and tiers of need.

Other needs that have been identified include:

  • better provision for national and regional workforce development to support effective integrated delivery in early years services
  • more robust research to address the evidence gaps
  • more support for local research and development.

Finally, work needs to be commissioned on the identification and promotion of agreed outcome measures and standardised research.

Reflection point

Consider the following in light of your own service:

  • whether the vision for integration in your service is clear. Are there are any ways in which you think it could be improved?
Girl holding a leaf