Case Study

Improving outcomes for children across the UK – learning from a six-year programme evaluation

Client: Young Minds | Sectors: Social Policy

The Improving Futures programme was a £30.5m programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund (formerly known as the Big Lottery Fund) from 2011 - 2017. 

The programme provided funding to 26 pilot projects across the UK, to test different approaches to improve outcomes for children living in families with multiple and complex needs. 

The Improving Futures programme was established to test three areas: 
1.    What types of support are most needed for families with children aged 5-10
2.    Whether family support was effective when VCSEs were put in the lead; and, 
3.    Whether the models developed through the projects had the potential to be mainstreamed or replicated.  

The Fund commissioned a consortium led by Ecorys and including Family Lives, Ipsos MORI and Professor Kate Morris (University of Sheffield) to evaluate the programme. The work was carried out over six years, with ongoing support to the projects to make effective use of evidence.

This web page hosts the legacy outputs from the evaluation, including the key reports and thematic papers. It is intended as an open resource for access by researchers, policymakers and practitioners alike. 

Evaluation Reports: 

- Final Report: Summary

- Final Report: Full Report

- Technical Report 

- Year 4 Evaluation: Full Report

- Year 3 Evaluation: Full Report 

- Year 2 Evaluation: Full Report 

- Year 1 Evaluation: Full Report 

Learning and Dissemination Reports:

- Making a Difference for Vulnerable Families: Event Learning Booklet

- Learning Paper: Fathers and Families 

- Learning Paper: Voluntary Sector Support for Families with Complex Needs

- Learning Paper: Strengthening Families' Social and Emotional Wellbeing 

- Learning Paper: Working in Primary Schools

- Learning Paper: Building Community Resilience 

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Key Experts

Laurie Day Technical Director