Prevention became unfashionable in the Thatcher years as effectiveness is difficult to measure in terms of performance-driven outcomes, and as financial stringency led to a retreat into statutory duties and case work. New Labour revived many aspects of preventative interventions and this chapter identifies how positive interventions which offer real assistance to those in need are preferable to blaming victims. It uses a three-stage model of preventative interventions: structural, focused and remedial. Innovations such as Sure Start, the Children’s Fund and Connexions are evaluated as examples of practice which empower individuals and communities. With more children getting sucked into ‘welfarist’ strategies which then identify them as in need of punitive interventions, the danger of undesired consequences of the targeted approach is discussed.
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