The Duchess of Cambridge Announces Plans to Support Early Intervention for Young Children and Families


During a speech at The Royal Foundation's Symposium on Early Intervention, The Duchess of Cambridge set out her ambition to support efforts to give every child the best possible start in life

Her Royal Highness will convene academics, practitioners and charities to focus on early intervention to support the social, emotional and mental wellbeing of young children.

The Duchess's longer term aim is to create long-term collaboration between experts and organisations in order to build strong partnerships, and to raise awareness of issues relating to perinatal, maternal and infant mental health, as well as the need to support parents, families and teachers.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge is establishing a steering group to explore how best to support academics, practitioners and charities in their work to provide all children with the best possible start in life.

The group will be coordinated by The Royal Foundation and will consider a range of questions surrounding the support provided to children, parents and teachers, from the earliest years.

For several years The Duchess has been working with experts and organisations that are championing the importance of early intervention to provide solid social and emotional platforms for children to make them healthier and more resilient later in life; and provide them with the foundations to lead to healthy adulthood.

Stemming originally from her work on issues like addiction and family breakdown, Her Royal Highness has observed that so many of society's greatest social and health challenges, and the intergenerational cycle of disadvantage, could be mitigated or entirely avoided by providing the right support for children in the earliest years in life.

 The Duchess's longer term aim is to create a partnership between experts and organisations in order to build strong collaboration, and to raise awareness of issues like perinatal, maternal and infant mental health, and the need for parenting support and advice, as well as resources for schools and educators.

The steering group will work in the months ahead and report back to The Duchess on options for long-term collaboration.

The questions include:

  • How can we highlight the importance of early intervention, as evidenced by academic research, for the benefit of all children, parents and schools?
  • What is the best model to encourage further collaboration between academics, charities and funders working in these areas?
  • How can mind-sets be changed so that parents and caregivers prioritise their own mental health and that of their children as much as they do their physical health? What is the role for awareness raising activities?
  • How can existing initiatives be scaled to provide long-term and multi-generational support to children, their parents and educators?

The steering group will report back to Her Royal Highness later this year and it is expected that The Royal Foundation's strategy for collaborative action on these issues will be announced in late autumn 2018 / early 2019.

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