The sustainability of organisations delivering NSPCC services

Publication date 2021

Reviewing the effectiveness of organisations delivering DART, GCP2 and Baby Steps in local areas

Since 2016, the NSPCC has worked with organisations to adopt and deliver some of its evidence-based services locally to reach more children and families through our ‘test, learn and scale’ model. The process involves developing, delivering and evaluating a service before ‘scaling it up’ to other organisations to deliver.

Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together (DART), Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2) and Baby Steps were the first three evidence-based services to be ‘scaled up’. We revisited 21 sites that had adopted the three NSPCC services, two to four years after their initial implementation to find out:

  • how well these services were being delivered
  • whether the delivery of services in local areas is sustainable
  • if there were any challenges and how they were addressed
  • how organisations can benefit from adopting these services.

Authors: Robyn Johnson, Emma Smith and Emma Belton
Published: 2021

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Key finding

NSPCC services can be successfully sustained when adopted by other organisations

A number of organisations who had adopted these NSPCC services were still running them successfully two to four years after initial implementation. They had strategies and resources in place which made them confident the services would be sustained, such as train the trainer models. However, some organisations struggled with challenges such as restructures, practical difficulties with running the service and ongoing issues with funding.

Other findings

Good infrastructure is crucial for sustainability

Strategies used by sites to make the services sustainable focused on building a good infrastructure. These included having protected, dedicated time for the service, lead champions in place, strategic buy-in and good partnership working.

Organisations can experience benefits beyond the service

Organisations that adopted the services experienced wider benefits, including more effective joint working and learning from the services being embedded into wider practice. Some practitioners used skills learnt from NSPCC services in their separate work.

The NSPCC has an ongoing part to play

The role of the NSPCC in its adopter sites evolves over time and should be responsive to sites’ needs. What each site wants from the NSPCC depends on a number of factors, such as whether they have train the trainer models in place, and service leads’ prior experience.

Identifying sites’ needs and tailoring support is important. For some sites, this generally involved more proactive support in the early stages, followed by less support after adopting the train the trainer model.

“I think it’s really important for us to understand what’s going on in some of those more established sites so that we can use that intelligence to support newer sites.”

Baby Steps, Implementation Manager
“The way we try and maintain sustainability, is by having a strong cohort of champions who know the material, are confident in it and are quite happy to share the practice.”

Graded Care Profile 2, delivery partner


Please cite as: Johnson., R et al (2021) The sustainability of NSPCC services in adopting organisations: a review of progress across DART, GCP2 and Baby Steps. London: NSPCC.

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