Insight for Early Intervention

Identifying vulnerability before it becomes hardship

Identifying vulnerable people early is the key to stopping them falling into financial hardship. Early identification can be very difficult. Individuals rarely self-identify due to embarrassment or a lack of awareness of services, and organisations may not have the tools to identify those at risk.

We know that more people are relying on credit to pay their bills. If we can identify these at-risk people sooner, we can help them manage their finances and reduce their risk of falling into hardship and becoming subject to unnecessary debt collection procedures.

Insight for early intervention is one of the six breakthrough projects identified at our Vulnerability Roundtable last October, where 130 participants from across government, business and community came together to tackle a range of vulnerability issues together.

How do we approach early intervention?

We need to be more proactive, rather than reactive. We need to understand and tackle the systemic issues causing the problem and to identify vulnerable individuals before they fall into hardship. This means working together to ensure early warning flags are raised before an individual’s situation becomes overwhelming.

We need improved predictive tools and a shared understanding of what vulnerability means – these will enable organisations to identify at-risk people before they start experiencing serious financial problems. The use of technology and shared data will help us, collectively, to support vulnerable people more effectively.

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