Together for Childhood is an ambitious place-based project that aims to prevent abuse and neglect and help make communities safer for children. As part of our evaluation of Together for Childhood we used a ‘storytelling approach’ (a Transformative Evaluation method). Using this method we aimed to generate evidence of impact by collecting stories of change.
We collected stories from community members and other partners, asking them to describe the most important change for them as a result of their involvement with Together for Childhood. We shared these stories in workshops to facilitate discussions about what the project is achieving. We collected and shared 37 stories in total across our four Together for Childhood sites between 2020 and 2021.
In this report we consider what the stories tell us about the programme and the benefits of using a Transformative Evaluation method.
Authors: Denise Coster and Emma Moore
Research team: Gillian Churchill, Alice Harrison, Claire White, Jenny Spiers, Jolien Vos
Published: May 2022
The Transformative Evaluation approach has helped us understand the changes that are happening as a result of the Together for Childhood project. The stories collected from local community members and professionals show how the initiative is changing people's lives in a range of ways, both personally and professionally.
Discussing the stories together allowed partners within Together for Childhood to reflect on, and understand, where progress is being made. The workshops allowed space for careful consideration of the impacts of Together for Childhood through people's lived experiences, and highlighted what works well.
Collecting stories gave Together for Childhood staff, including social work practitioners and community engagement staff, an opportunity to reflect on the importance of their role. The stories gave staff a sense of pride in their work, and demonstrated its value to senior strategic stakeholders. The discussions about these stories also helped to bolster a joint vision on what Together for Childhood is trying to achieve.
Please cite as: Coster, D. and Moore, E. (2022) Hearing stories of change: using a Transformative Evaluation method in the evaluation of Together for Childhood. London: NSPCC.
Learning from an evaluation of Together for Childhood, a preventative approach to child abuse and neglect that involves community engagement and partnership working.
Learn more about Together for Childhood, an innovative, evidence-informed approach to bring local partners and families together to prevent abuse.
Find out what we’ve learnt about how the Together for Childhood design principles are working in practice and the differences Together for Childhood is making in local communities.