Case Studies

Cost savings from early intervention

< 1 min read

The costs of intervening late

It used to be difficult to persuade decision-makers to invest in early intervention owing to a lack of evidence for its effectiveness. Frustratingly, most people knew intuitively that intervening in problems early, thereby preventing crises and emergencies, had to lead to better outcomes all round.

The situation changed when some clever people turned the problem on its head and instead of evidence for intervening early, started to quantify the costs of intervening late. The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) was born and began its innovative research programme that was to publish startling figures about the costs of late intervention.

Senseless waste

In children’s social care, late intervention includes placements into foster and residential care, especially when these are either unplanned and/or less stable – that is, subject to one or more changes of placement. The last figures from the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) in 2016 calculated that around £17 billion is wasted every year on late intervention and a significant proportion of that is spent on children.

Updated figures from 2021-22 show that local government spending on children’s services increased by £800m and within that increase, £4 out of every £5 was spent on late intervention.

It’s not just about money

So early intervention does save costs, but these savings are not just financial. While everyone likes to save money, equally at Mind Of My Own we believe in early intervention because it reduces the social and emotional costs for children and young people. Life chances are significantly better for those whose issues and problems are prevented from reaching crisis point and that is one of the reasons why we build our digital tools.

Using the best evidence available, we have calculated the financial savings for organisations subscribing to One, Express or Exchange. These will be in the next post, so look out for the link.


Chowdry, H., & Fitzsimons, P. (2016) The cost of late intervention: EIF analysis 2016. Early Intervention Foundation

Franklin, J., Larkham, J., & Mansoor, M. (2023) The well-worn path: Children’s services spending 2010-11 to 2021-22. Pro Bono Economics