Why did David Cameron allow UK’s Early Support to fade away?

Do you have an answer to this mystery?

Editorial comment: David Cameron is now UK Foreign secretary. He used to be prime minister (2010 – 2016) and perhaps has been brought back into office to prop up an ailing government.

A wonderful programme of early support for disabled babies and young children was thriving when he became prime minister but then it slowly came to an end. Why this happened is a mystery to me, especially as the Cameron’s had a baby with brain damage who died at the age of six years.

The following is an extract from my book Early Child and Family Support Principles and Prospects:

‘An example of a failed top-down approach was the work Interconnections did with the UK government. The then Labour government set up an innovative nation-wide Early Support13 project early in the 2000s and involved Interconnections in a minor way in its planning and promotion. TAC became part of the new government guidance for supporting babies and infants who had multifaceted conditions. In very many localities, TAC became commonplace with the appointment within public services of TAC Co-ordinators, a new role to oversee local TAC development. Very sadly, Early Support came to an end in 2015. First of all the 2008 banking crash meant local authorities were now starved of the cash they needed for new initiatives and the project gradually ran out of steam as the Labour government changed to a Conservative government in 2010. My impression is that the new government under David Cameron as prime minister did nothing to help keep the Early Support project going despite the Cameron family having an infant son with very significant disabilities.

            ‘This is a personal and very brief account of the rise and fall of UK’s Early Support project. From my perspective its very welcome focus on babies and infants and their families has since been lost. The story shows what can happen when there is over-reliance on government authority and resources. The great advantages can disappear as soon as one government gives way to another in the democratic process. The Early Support project was too short-lived to create lasting cultural change despite all the good work that happened within it.’ (Page 61)


Peter Limbrick, December 2023

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