We are constantly asked 'that' question...you know the one..the one that can stop a lovely flowing conversation in it's tracks, the one that can make the work you were visualising as almost already happening, with all it's great outputs (measurable of course), evaporate before your very eyes..."So how much does it cost then?"
How about turning that around and informing people about how much you can save them.
I recently came across a fantastic bit of collaborative work by a number of Councils, the Troubled Families Unit and the New Economy Manchester. These organisations drew on their resources and evidence base to place a realistic cost on the actions that can surround many of the clients we work with in the inclusion field.
Here are some examples of the types of actions and their associated costs that this piece of work calculated (this is estimated to be the case within the greater Manchester area)
- Recording a crime £542
- Anti social behaviour incident with further action £629
- Arest £2,241 (per event)
- ASBO £7,805
- Offender management costs (under 18) £1,618
- Crime proceedings (court Costs, per day, magistrates) £768
- 6 month Youth Offender sentence in Youth Offender institute £26,437
- Permanent exclusion to PRU £13,258
You have to admit those figures are pretty scary. How is it useful to us to have this information. Well we could highlight how the work we do can impact directly on the local authorities bottom line.
For example here is a case study of a young man Noise Solution worked with. A young man who had just been released from prison and was thought to be probably heading straight back there fairly soon. A young man who by his own admission was getting arrested every week (check that figure above again).
We did a 10 week programe with him and it was very successful we didn't know quite how successful till we spoke to him 9 months later when he said
"Noise Solution is the thing thats kept me out of jail for the last 9 months....rather than getting into bother I've been working on my music instead."
By my own frankly laughable underestimation that 10 week £1500 investment, it can be very plausibly argued, saved you me and every other tax payer £30,735
Those are the sort of sums that make people sit up and take notice - don't undervalue what it is that we do.
You can read about the work we did, a typical Noise Solution intervention, here