Report: Seven measures to shift service systems toward early intervention: levers for the Victorian Early Intervention Investment Framework

CEI is delighted to share a new report we have published with the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF). The department has published the first of three papers it has commissioned from CEI to inform the development of the Early Intervention Investment Framework (EIIF)

Service systems are weighted heavily toward ‘treatment’ and acute services, leaving them hamstrung when it comes to effectively intervening early - ideally at a person’s first presentation to a service. The opportunity costs are huge, when we know evidence-informed early intervention services exist and have been successfully trialled in Australia. 

The EIIF is a mechanism to encourage continuous growth in early intervention by linking investment to measurable impacts on outcomes of people using the services and the service system. The approach represents a significant investment in early intervention by the Victorian Government (approaching a $1bn spend over the last two state budgets under this Framework) and is the key policy mechanism for Victoria’s transition to a more balanced service system.

CEI identified seven features of successful early intervention systems and ways in which the EIIF could be leveraged or strengthened to foster these features in the Victorian service system. These were:

  • Funding that enables collective early intervention across the system
  • Sourcing evidence on ‘what works’ in early intervention
  • Guidance and capacity to implement ‘what works’
  • Practices and support to de-implement what does not work
  • Person-centred approaches that drive service innovation
  • Integrated cross-government data systems to drive investment, and
  • Embedded data systems that enable quality outcome measurement and evaluation.

For each feature we cover markers of success, challenges, and some pragmatic suggestions for how the EIIF can be leveraged to contribute to system change.

Full details are included in the paper: What successful early intervention looks like across the service system.

The three papers for the Victorian Government will focus on how the EIIF can support reorientation of Victoria’s service system. The next two papers address:

  • How outcome measurement can be embedded for early intervention initiatives across the service system, and
  • Principles, methods, and illustrative examples of measuring early intervention effectiveness.