Frank Field has hit the headlines again this week talking about how we measure poverty and improve life chances for children.
I watched intently yesterday as David Cameron announced a £450m plan to tackle Britain's worst 120,000 families. According to the Prime Minister, these families and their truancy, joblessness and anti-social behaviour cost Britain £9bn a year, and what we really need is someone to coordinate all the agencies that work with them to make them be less Shameless, more Waltons.
We want the Government as a whole to act now to mitigate the risk of failing to maintain investment in early intervention, which could ultimately lead to greater longer term problems, such as more children being taken into care. By planning carefully, and involving the voluntary sector in ensuring money given to local authorities for early intervention schemes is spent wisely, local and national government can avoid giving with one hand and taking with the other.