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Sure start (case study) - Assignment Example

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Sure Start Intervention in the UK: A Case Analysis Introduction Sure Start was an anti-poverty programme established under Gordon Brown’s administration and financially supported by the New Labour Government Treasury Department. It was introduced in 1998 as a 10-year plan, intended for families with children aged four years and below living in the poorest, most underprivileged communities (Clarke, 2006)…
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Sure start (case study)

Download file to see previous pages... This case study therefore tries to answer these three questions: (1) what motivated the development of Sure Start, in terms of theory and practice; (2) how were the evaluation challenges addressed; and, (3) was it able to achieve its stated objectives? Overview of Sure Start The design and progress of Sure Start was rooted in the belief that the earliest years of childhood were the most important in the emotional, social, and physical growth of children. There had been increasing findings and growing recognition during the 1990s of the interplay between the forces resulting in social exclusion, like poor health, increased unemployment rates, and low educational levels (Weinberger, Pickstone, & Peter, 2005). The former Chief Medical Officer Donald Acheson revealed that health inequalities are deeply entrenched in the British society. The fundamental causes of such health inequalities were believed to begin in the early years of childhood and to continue later in life and across generations (Anning & Edwards, 2006). However, at the same time, the prevailing assumption of health services intended for children aged four years and below was that they were displaced, inept and erratic, especially in communities of numerous disadvantages where children are particularly exposed to environmental forces (Anning & Edwards, 2006). Sure Start was designed to be a coordinated solution to such inequalities in health; it was created as a community-based intervention that could sever the connections between social exclusion and poor health. It was expected that an array of early interventions could result in progress in the cognitive and emotional growth of children, boost parents’ self-reliance and independence, and reduce the prevalence of accidents and poor health in children (Little, 2012). Consequently, such gains would result in higher educational achievement and attainment of occupational skills for parents and children. Finally, over time, these social gains would affect the Treasury by means of higher employment rates and lower costs of social exclusion and poor health, particularly teenage pregnancy, mental disorder, substance abuse, and chronic disability (Hoghughi & Long, 2004). It is vital to mention that there was to be no national standards for local programmes; every local Sure Start intervention would be community-based and founded on certain major principles. Such principles state that interventions would be intended for both children and parents, that services and interventions must be provided in a way to prevent stigmatisation, labelling, and singling out of ‘problem families’ (Hoghughi & Long, 2004, p. 335) and that Sure Start interventions would be comprehensive, focused on consolidating and adding value to current services in social care, health, and education. Even though there was no standards for Sure Start programmes, every Sure Start Local Programme was obliged to provide basic services and create local objectives that were based on national objectives as well as local conditions and requirements (Cowley, 2007). The basic provisions for family and child health services comprised smoking cessation support, diagnosis of mothers vulnerable to postnatal depression, prevention of accidents and ill health in children ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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