This suite of three publications is the result of an exploratory study focused on domestic abuse programmes for children and families, to find out more about domestic abuse programmes linked to children’s outcomes, in addition to exploring the feasibility of evaluation – namely impact evaluation.
Foundations did this by working closely with four programmes (Children Overcoming Domestic Abuse (CODA) as delivered by Early Years Alliance; For Baby’s Sake; LEAP Enhanced Casework Service; and Family Action Survive and Thrive Integrated Children’s Service) through theory of change development, desk research, interviews, focus groups, and gathering administrative data.
This research will feed into the wider aims of improving the effectiveness of domestic abuse programmes and enhancing the evidence base on domestic abuse that can apply to other local areas and interventions.
1. Feasibility report
This report covers the background, aims, methods, key findings, and discussion points from our work with four domestic abuse programmes. The report has yielded a wealth of learning about the content of domestic abuse programmes and the challenges and opportunities of enhancing evaluation of programmes in the future.
The key aims of this study were to:
- better understand programmes being delivered to reduce domestic abuse and to lessen its harmful effects on children, including the mechanisms/processes leading to the intended or perceived outcomes of the programmes.
- explore the evidence of promise of the programmes we worked with, and the acceptability of the programmes for the stakeholders involved.
- explore the readiness for impact evaluation of the programmes we worked with.
2. The sub-report on beneficiary data usage within a domestic abuse service context
During the fieldwork, we conducted a set of focus groups on how programmes used beneficiary data pre, during and post programme. This report sets out a number of important learning points for both future evaluation and potential options for data innovation work and pre-programme risk assessment.
This report was underpinned by the following research questions:
- How is individual beneficiary data processed (ie. its journey) at each stage of the programme (referral stage, programme start and end, and post-programme)?
- How is individual beneficiary data collected, stored and utilised to inform programme delivery and practice?
- How can individual beneficiary data be better used to aid evaluation and trialling of domestic abuse services?
3. Case studies of high-quality evaluation of domestic abuse programmes
This guide provides insights into opportunities to address some of the key barriers to evaluation in the domestic abuse sector through illustrative case studies from the more extensive UK and international literature. The guide considers enablers to evaluation across a variety of interventions, including therapeutic and preventative programmes.
Foundations also worked with the University of Oxford to conduct a rapid systematic review to address the knowledge gap around interventions that aim to improve outcomes for children who have been exposed to domestic abuse and who have social care involvement – that is, in the UK, children who are on a Child in Need or Child Protection Plan, or are Children Looked After.