MP Graham Allen believes his proposed early intervention foundation could be created early next year following crucial backing from prime minister David Cameron
Nottingham MP Mr Allen, who has produced two reports for ministers on the benefits and possibilities of more pro-active approaches to social problems, said he could reveal that the prime minister had given his proposals “strong backing”.
Mr Allen told LGC he believed that the independent foundation – to be set up with some £20m, made up of equal parts of government and private sector funding – could now be “on the road in January”.
The creation of the foundation has been seen as crucial for allowing local authorities to arrange funding for projects by building a database of family intervention programmes that have a proven track-record of success.
Mr Allen published a letter from Mr Cameron in which the prime minister asked ministers and officials to “work constructively” with the MP to “explore the options”.
Mr Cameron said: “I strongly agree with your proposal that both the funding and delivery of early interventions should be a shared task between the public, private and voluntary sectors, and see the development of this sector as a great opportunity to apply the principles that underpin my desire to create the Big Society.
“I am supportive of the idea of setting up an independent foundation to accelerate and guide the development of the early intervention market, not least because I think it can help us transform the debate about child poverty.
“I will indeed speak to the chancellor about what role government funding could play in the creation of this new foundation, and I have asked with my ministers to work with you constructively to explore the options available.”
Last week, the Department for Education published statistics on the number of family intervention programmes across England, suggesting that some 117,000 families could benefit.
However, the figures also showed the low levels of work currently underway.