Implementation evaluation of Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together (DART) scale-up

Topics: Domestic abuse

Evaluation of how we support organisations to deliver our DART™service

Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together (DART™) helps children and mothers get back on track after experiencing domestic abuse. We’ve evaluated DART™ and found that it was effective.

So that we can reach and help more children and families, we’re now scaling up our successful services. As part of this, we train practitioners from other organisations to deliver our programmes.

DART™ is the first service we’ve scaled up. So, to help us understand what works when scaling up a service, we carried out an implementation evaluation.

We’ll be using what we’ve learnt to improve the way we scale up other services in the future. This is part of our Impact and evidence series.

Author: Isabella Stokes

Published: 2017

Key findings

Experiences of professionals

  • Professionals thought the programme was important because it focuses on the relationship between the mother and her child, instead of working with them both in isolation.

  • After the training, professionals were enthusiastic about DART™ and said they felt confident about delivering the programme.

Problems delivering DART™

  • Although eight organisations had been trained, only two were actively delivering DART™ by April 2017. However, since our data was collected eight organisations have started delivering DART™ and more have expressed an interest in taking it on.

  • Professionals reported barriers to running the programme, many of which they did not foresee. These included problems with funding, staffing, transport, venues and issues with taking children out of school.

Improvements to the scaling-up of DART™

Based on our findings, we’ve made improvements to the way we scale-up DART™:

  • developed stronger assessments to help us find out if organisations are ready to deliver DART™

  • provide a breakdown of anticipated costs to organisations who are considering taking on the service

  • offer more support to tackle challenges which arise

  • help organisations to link up with each other so they can share waiting lists, costs and staff members

  • organisations are now able to deliver the programme with two volunteers and two staff members (instead of the previous four staff members).


"It wasn’t like some training you go to and it’s just somebody reading out of a manual, it was really interesting because [the trainers had] actually facilitated it … they were quite experienced in it so they really knew what they were talking about and they were quite passionate about it."
(Local authority practitioner)


Please cite as: Stokes, I. (2017) Implementation evaluation of Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together (DART) scale-up: impact and evidence briefing. London: NSPCC.