How Canada's social programs can work better, save lives, and often save money
Governments and social agencies tackle the toughest social problems their citizens face — poverty, homelessness, mental and physical illness, violence, abuse, and more. Yet these problems persist in Canada — in many cases, they are worsening — and the costs of the social safety net continue to rise.
New approaches have been developed by innovators frustrated by the failure of traditional programs and policies, in Canada and internationally. Many of the most promising new approaches use a strategy of early intervention — identifying and tackling problems without delay. Regardless of the problem, innovative, well-designed programs based on early intervention have generated better results for the individuals involved and for society as a whole. Often, the associated costs to government have been reduced.
In Early Intervention James Hughes showcases the best of these innovative approaches. He provides representative real-life case histories of Canadian beneficiaries of this new thinking and presents the findings of researchers who have compared the outcomes of new approaches with traditional ones.
Putting the social safety net into place was one of Canada’s great achievements in the 20th century. Revamping those programs so they make a greater contribution to the quality of life of all Canadians is the challenge for the early 21st century. In this book, James Hughes shows how this can be done. He provides the background information needed by anyone who wants to help reform and improve Canadian social policy.
JAMES HUGHES lives in Montreal and has worked as a senior administrator in social services for more than fifteen years. He is the founding president of the Montreal non-profit Youth Employment Services and served as director general of the Old Brewery Mis