How Together for Childhood is bringing about change for local communities

What we’ve learnt about how the Together for Childhood design principles are working in practice

Publication date 2022

Together for Childhood is an innovative place-based programme that brings local partners and families together to prevent child abuse. The NSPCC undertakes research and evaluation activities across four Together for Childhood sites to ensure our activities and services meet local needs.

We carried out a process evaluation from December 2020 to March 2021, focusing on how the Together for Childhood design principles are working in practice, and looking at the difference Together for Childhood is making.

42 semi-structured interviews were conducted with NSPCC staff, community members and partners from statutory and voluntary organisations to explore the programme’s impact and development.

Authors: Emma Moore, Denise Coster, Gillian Churchill
Published: May 2022

"Rather than just saying “let’s do an event”, they’ve really tapped into things that were already going on in the community. They’ve found different innovative ways to work together with the community and people.”

Partner, Stoke-on-Trent

Key findings

Together for Childhood is building trusted relationships with partners and community members

Staff have managed to build trusted relationships through effective communication and leadership with partners, and through a consistent presence in communities. The trust built between professionals and community members has allowed staff to learn more about the needs of communities, and to improve community understanding about Together for Childhood.

Together for Childhood sites are continuously learning and drawing on the expertise of partners and community members to inform development

Together for Childhood aims to develop activities that are co-created with local partners and communities. This co-creation is supported by bringing together people with the right skills and expertise, and by facilitating community participation. There have been successful examples of partners working together to develop new activities that respond to local needs, and of partners tailoring activities for their area.

There are challenges to ensuring the sustainability of Together for Childhood, but partners are committed to leaving a legacy

Partners are committed to leaving a legacy and the foundations for enduring relationships with partners are already in place. However, despite this strong commitment, there are challenges to ensuring sustainability, including uncertainty around funding and resources and the need for long-term strategic buy-in for the project.

Together for Childhood is beginning to make progress towards achieving its ambitious outcomes

Together for Childhood is already bringing about changes in partnership working and increasing understanding of local communities. If this progress can be maintained and scaled up across communities, then Together for Childhood has the potential to achieve its ambitions of preventing abuse and making communities safer for children.

"What I am seeing is the impact and influence of Together for Childhood in other practice areas across the city… We are now looking at a training matrix for child sexual abuse with multi-agency practitioners as a result of the drive from Together for Childhood.”

Partner, Plymouth


Please cite as: Moore, E. et al (2022) How is Together for Childhood bringing about change for local communities? Learning Together: part two. London: NSPCC.