Two Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme evaluations published| Social Policy, Security and Justice, Public Sector Reform
Two Ecorys evaluations for the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme have been published by the Department for Education.
The evaluations highlight our continuing reputation in delivering high-quality methodological approaches. Quantitative analysis included rigorous Counterfactual Impact Evaluations (CIEs), involving historical comparison groups and techniques including inverse probability weighting and interrupted time series analysis. Qualitative methods included training a group of ‘Young Researchers’ in a Research for Evaluation qualification accredited by the Open College Network.
The first evaluation was of the Lincolnshire Partners in Practice (PiP) programme. This included two CIEs of Early Help services for families requiring additional support and of its ‘Future4Me’ project. The Future4Me CIE showed that the reoffending rate among the young people it supported was 11 percentage points lower than the comparison group. Early Help did not find a statistically significant impact on the number of referrals to Children’s Services or referrals that required no further action, though it did suggest an initial stabilising effect on referrals.
The second evaluation was of the Achieving for Children PiP programme in Richmond and Kingston upon Thames. Data analysis found the numbers of children in care and children in need reduced more in Richmond and Kingston than in statistical neighbours over the lifetime of the programme. The influence of family coaching (when administered over seven or more months), access to specialist staff and reflective practice were thought to be particularly beneficial for families that accessed the programme.
Both evaluations reported positive findings from staff working to the strengths-based Signs of Safety practice model and provide additional information that will be valuable additions to the growing literature on what makes a difference in designing and delivering Children’s Social Care programmes.
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