Social Care Innovation programme seeks to support the development, testing and
sharing of effective ways of supporting children who need help from children’s
social care services.
is approximately £100m committed to the programme over 2014-16 funding 60+
The International Centre, University of
Bedfordshire, in partnership with researchers from DMSS Research and NatCen
Social Research, is evaluating four innovation projects with a particular focus
on supporting young people with experience/at risk of sexual exploitation.
evaluation team is led by Dr Sara Scott (for further information contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org). Final reports to DfE will be submitted at the
end of March 2016.
- Durham House,
Aycliffe Secure Centre in partnership
with Barnardo’s – developing a specialist unit implementing a therapeutic model of working
with sexually exploited young people; managing and supporting effective
transitions into the community, and influencing a more therapeutic culture
across the centre.
- St Christopher’s ‘Safe Steps’
project – establishing two homes
for vulnerable young women at risk of serious harm in the community – particularly
through sexual exploitation. The project takes a “common sense” approach to risk and empowering ways of
working with young women informed by social pedagogy and knowledge of trauma.
- Project Phoenix, Wigan and Rochdale – identifying and piloting responses to young people who are victims, or
at risk of sexual exploitation which will improve outcomes and provide
effective alternatives to high cost and secure accommodation. The project aims to test an action-learning
approach to service development based on undertaking research and involving
those who are ‘experts by experience’ (young people, families and
professionals) in the co-production of solutions to inform service planning and
delivery across Greater Manchester. Evaluation will continue until October
- Empower and Protect, South Yorkshire – developing a sub-regional delivery model in
partnership with Catch 22 in order to keep sexually exploited young people
close to their own communities and living in stable foster placements or with
their own families. The approach brings the expertise of a team
of clinical psychologists out of
the clinic to provide training, therapeutic insight, support and supervision
for staff and parents/carers. Evaluation will continue until March 2017.
An evaluation framework designed to reflect each
project’s theory of change includes early and medium term milestones which
indicate progress towards the intended outcomes for young people (including effective
and evidence-based project design, development and implementation of new ways
Evidence is being collected via:
- Interviews with staff, managers, LA informants, young people and their families, and other stakeholders
- Staff surveys
- Tracking and observation of project activities
- Psycho-social questionnaires with young people
- Monitoring other indicators of change – e.g. incidents, staff absence/turnover.