Deliver our services


How to implement evidence-based services with our Scale-up Unit

We believe we can achieve better outcomes for many more children if we work in partnership to put more evidence into practice. We also want to learn what works for others implementing our services.

That’s why we’ve launched our Scale-up Unit, designed to help organisations to adopt, implement and deliver evidence-based services locally.

Together we’ll help more children and families thrive.

How the Scale-up Unit works

Developing, delivering and testing our services

First, we grow a service from the initial idea to delivery. We test it at every stage so we can ensure we have a strong evidence base.

Supporting partners to deliver our services

Once we have learned what works, our team of implementation managers helps others to deliver the programme. This can include training, consultancy, resources and implementation support.

We’ve evaluated the implementation process to find out what support is most helpful for the organisations taking on our programmes. Based on what we learnt, we’ve adapted the support we provide.

> Read our report about What have we learnt from scaling up NSPCC services? (PDF)

Services on offer

Services you can deliver

Through our Scale-up Unit, we are supporting partners to deliver:

Information about delivering these services can be found under the individual tabs.

Baby Steps

Baby Steps

We worked with Warwick University to develop Baby Steps, a service to help new parents in need of extra support.

It is designed to sit alongside mainstream provision, and to be co-delivered by health and social care practitioners.

> Find out more about Baby Steps

How we know Baby Steps works

We’ve found that parents who completed the Baby Steps programme:

  • showed improved mental health and were better protected against relationship breakdown and postnatal depression
  • experienced improved birth outcomes, such as fewer low-birth-weight babies, and lower rates of caesarean sections and premature births.

We’re committed to learning from our partners and improving how we work together. So, we’ve evaluated how we’re supporting other organisations to deliver this programme.

> Read our implementation evaluation of Baby Steps

> See a full list of evaluation reports for this service

What support can we offer?

We will provide:

  • a detailed readiness assessment, plus pre-implementation support
  • a licence for the area to deliver Baby Steps in accordance with the model
  • comprehensive training for up to 12 Baby Steps group facilitators covering the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to deliver the groups.

Our emphasis is on ensuring fidelity to the model while offering some flexibility to tailor the approach to your local groups. This ‘flexibility within a fidelity framework’ promotes outcomes and local relevance.

Our training is delivered over three separate events, totalling six days. Training includes:

  • group facilitator training before the programme starts
  • further facilitator top-up training, 4 to 6 months into delivery
  • the use of video-enhanced reflective practice training
  • additional training for midwives and stakeholder engagement, depending on your local delivery requirements.

We provide a tapered-implementation support package to project leads over the course of the licence. Initially, you will receive monthly support to ensure that the service is being successfully implemented. This support then reduces as the service becomes embedded.

How to deliver Baby Steps

If you want to deliver Baby Steps, we can provide training and support for your local teams to help them deliver it successfully.

Email for more information about delivering this service.

Coping with Crying

Coping with Crying

We worked with Warwick Medical School and Great Ormond Street Hospital to develop Coping with Crying. It’s a film that practitioners such as midwives, maternity support workers, health visitors and children’s centre workers can watch with new and expecting parents.

It helps prepare them for parenthood and gives practical advice about what to do if their baby won’t stop crying. This can help keep babies safe by reducing the risk of non-accidental head injuries.

> Find out more about Coping with Crying

How we know Coping with Crying works

Our evaluation of Coping with Crying found encouraging evidence that it helps parents react in a positive way when their baby is crying.

Parents who watched the film reported improvements in their knowledge about infant crying, and coping strategies they could use to soothe their baby. They had more understanding about the impact of shaking their baby.

> Read our full evaluation report

> See a full list of evaluation reports for this service

What support can we offer?

We’ve put together an online training package for practitioners who want to show Coping with Crying to new parents. It covers:

  • the risks associated with babies that cry excessively
  • advice and guidance on how to support parents and keep babies safe
  • guidance on how to effectively implement the programme and show the film to parents.

The course also contains downloadable programme resources, including:

  • the Coping with Crying film
  • a step-by-step guide for managers on how to implement the programme
  • leaflets for parents
  • a script for practitioners to use when showing the film to parents
  • a detailed manual for managers and practitioners on how to deliver the programme to parents
  • promotional materials.

How to deliver Coping with Crying

Sign up to our online training course to access all the resources you need to deliver Coping with Crying.

> View the Delivering the Coping with Crying programme training


Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together (DART™)

Over 40% of adults who have been subjected to domestic abuse have at least one child under the age of 16 years old living in the household (ONS, 2019).

What is DART?

Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together (DART™) provides a service for mothers who have experienced abuse and have separated from abusive male partners. Through DART, children and their mothers can talk to each other about domestic abuse, learn to communicate and rebuild their relationship.

The service, which has been recognised by the Home Office, also provides children and mothers with an opportunity to meet others who have lived through similar experiences (Home Office, 2018).

How it was developed

The development of the programme was based on the “Talking to My Mum” research undertaken by the University
of Warwick (Humphreys, C., Mullender, A., Thiara, R. and Skamballis, A., 2006). The research showed that children’s outcomes are improved if the non-abusing parent is supported to take an active part in the child’s recovery from domestic abuse.

What the programme covers

DART is designed on the premise that many children recover once they are safe from violence (Wolfe et al, 1986; Mertin, 1995). It aims to assist the process by:

  • breaking down the idea of a ‘family secret’
  • providing greater confidence to mothers in parenting and helping both mothers and their children to move forward as a family unit
  • improving communications between mother and child and equipping them with skills to develop positive relationships at home
  • helping mothers and their children understand how domestic abuse has impacted their relationship and how to deal with feelings such as, anger, guilt or responsibility.

How effective is DART?

We’ve found that DART has proven positive results for mothers and children. After completing the programme:

  • substantial improvements were reported by almost two thirds (62%) of mothers with low self-esteem
  • substantially improved relationships were reported by nearly 9 in 10 (88%) children who originally said that their mothers struggled to show them affection.

A robust evaluation of how we support organisations to deliver DART was conducted in 2017 and has helped us continue to improve the support we give.

> Read our implementation evaluation of DART

We have now conducted another evaluation of the organisations we support to deliver DART which showed that licensed sites were equally as successful in achieving positive outcomes for families as NSPCC teams.

> Read our impact evaluation report

> See a full list of evaluation reports for this service

Helping you deliver the service

We want to help you make DART a success. Our pre-implementation support includes an initial discussion call, strategy briefing and readiness assessment.

We will then work with you to launch the service by providing you with high-quality training and access to a range of materials. This includes up to nine hours of post-training debriefs during the first DART group.

You will be supported on an on-going basis throughout the duration of the license. We will provide you with:

  • post-implementation site support visits
  • an annual service review
  • updates and best practice examples via our DART newsletter
  • access to community of practice forums, both face-to-face and virtually
  • additional training opportunities for your organisation and staff
  • useful resources and templates for delivering the service.

How to deliver DART

If you’re interested in delivering DART, we can provide support and training to help your team successfully implement the service in your area.

Email for more information about delivering this service.

Graded Care Profile 2

Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2)

Neglect is the most common reason for a child to be the subject of a child protection plan or on a child protection register for the UK as a whole, and is present in the majority of serious case reviews (Brandon, M. et al, 2013).

It can be difficult to assess neglect as it has a high threshold for recognition and assessment can be subjective.

> Find out more about child protection plan and register statistics in the UK

What is Graded Care Profile 2?

Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2) is an evidence-based assessment tool that   helps professionals measure the quality of care provided by a parent or carer in meeting their child’s needs, particularly where there are concerns about neglect.

Using the GCP2 tool, professionals ‘grade’ aspects of family life on a scale of one to five. This assessment helps them identify areas where the level of care children receive could be significantly improved.

> Find out more about Graded Care Profile 2

> Download our Graded Care Profile 2 case studies (PDF)

How was it developed

Graded Care Profile (GCP) was originally created by consultant paediatrician, Dr. Srivastava. We worked with him to redevelop the tool and create an updated version which is known as Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2). This is an authorised and fully tested version of the GCP tool.

The difference? It’s more user friendly and comprehensive enough to help professionals with assessments and subsequent work with families. 

What the assessment tool is designed to do

Using the GCP2 assessment tool, you’ll be able to:

  • measure the quality of care being provided to children you work with
  • identify where children require further support and whether the level of care received needs to be improved
  • implement a constructive working relationship with families
  • increase your confidence in decision making at all levels
  • promote multi-agency working and train professionals across agencies to use the tool – creating a common language and improving the quality of referrals.

"The support, advice and enthusiasm from the NSPCC team around implementing this tool is second to none. A collegiate approach which allows us to avoid potential challenges and troubleshoot difficulties."


How effective is the assessment tool?

Professionals who were already embedding the tool have told us that:

  • referrals were clearer and more likely to lead to actions that would support the child
  • some practitioners felt it enabled parents to better understand professionals’ concerns
  • some families were reported to make positive health and lifestyle choices as a result.

These findings come from our evaluation of how we support organisations to use GCP2.

> Read our implementation evaluation of Graded Care Profile 2

> See a full list of evaluation reports for this service

How we will help you

We have helped support over 80 local areas to use GCP2 across the UK. We will help you make GCP2 a success by being available every step of the way to provide you with the support and advice you need to effectively implement the tool in your local area.

What can you expect from us? We’ll be:

  • helping you develop a robust implementation plan so that you can sustainably implement the tool locally
  • organising webinars and workshops for strategic partners
  • providing implementation planning resources and support
  • arranging training sessions and materials to support local delivery (minimum of two delegates)
  • providing you with access to over 60 resources to support delivery, usage and implementation
  • offering opportunities to attend and engage with GCP2 colleagues and sites across the UK through our community of practice forums
  • notifying you about upcoming events, webinars and newsletters.

"As implementation lead for our local authority, I have been helped through the process by the expert assistance of the team at NSPCC. They have been able to answer my questions and together we have found solutions to issues."

Implementation Lead

How to deliver Graded Care Profile 2

Our expert consultants and trainers can help you and other professionals in your area use GCP2 effectively.

Email for more information about delivering this service.

Harmful Sexual Behaviour Framework

Harmful Sexual Behaviour Framework

A framework aiming to help local areas develop and improve multi-agency responses to children displaying harmful sexual behaviours (HSB).

> Find out more about the Harmful Sexual Behaviour Framework

How we know the Harmful Sexual Behaviour Framework works

Eight pilot areas agreed to test and help further develop the framework in 2015. They used the audit tool with their local workforce and multi-agency groups, and collated, analysed and fed back the findings to their Local Safeguarding Children’s Board and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) sub-groups.

Key feedback was:

  • the framework acted as a platform for discussion and reflection on current policies and practice; strengths and weaknesses were identified, improvements not previously considered were highlighted, and clear recommendations and action plans developed
  • it also acted as a persuasive device to help them to argue for the retention of services, and secure funding.

What support can we offer?

Our implementation support package is delivered over 3 to 6 months. During this time, we provide:

  • a pre-implementation assessment with strategic leaders to ensure necessary preparations have been made for the audit
  • support with planning the audit and advice on collation of data
  • administrative materials to help you coordinate partner agencies
  • advice throughout the audit process and during the analysis of the audit findings
  • support with developing an action plan and identifying NSPCC and partner organisations’ resources that can help you to implement it.

How to deliver the Harmful Sexual Behaviour Framework

Our implementation support package can help local areas to implement the framework successfully.

Email for more information about delivering this service.

Letting the Future In

Letting the Future In

We’ve developed this service to help the recovery of children and young people who’ve been sexually abused.

We want more children and young people to be able to benefit from Letting the Future In. So as well as delivering the programme in some of our service centres, we want to provide training and support to other organisations to help their local teams implement and deliver it in their area.

> Find out more about Letting the Future In

How we know Letting the Future In works

Letting the Future In is the only intervention of its kind that has a robust evidence base.

It is recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE, 2017) and showcased as an example of commissioning practice in the Home Office’s commissioning framework for support services for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in England (Home Office, 2019).

Through our evaluation in collaboration with the Universities of Bristol and Durham we know that Letting the Future in:

  • is a cost-effective solution, with an average cost of £2,300 per case compared to the cost of an average case for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Teams of almost £5,000
  • can be delivered by therapists or social-care professionals who receive additional training, allowing for children and young people to receive the support they need without having to be escalated to services at a higher threshold.

This service was evaluated in collaboration with the Universities of Bristol and Durham.

> Read the full evaluation report

What support can we offer?

Our training and implementation support package includes:

  • a licence to deliver the service in accordance with the model but with the flexibility to meet local needs and practice
  • pre-implementation support to assess readiness and understand training needs
  • pre-training workshop for senior managers to work with you to identify how you can make the most of the service and establish methods for ongoing evaluation and outcomes
  • a bespoke, individual needs-assessed training programme
  • ongoing implementation support.

How to deliver Letting the Future In

If you’re interested in delivering Letting the Future In, we can provide training and support to your local teams to help you implement and deliver the service in your area.

Email for more information about delivering this service.

Reunification Practice Framework

Reunification Practice Framework

An evidence-informed framework designed to help social workers make decisions on returning children home from care.

> Find out more about the Reunification Practice Framework

How we know the Reunification Practice Framework works

Like all our services, the framework is evidence-informed. There are many benefits to implementing it in your local authority, such as:

  • it has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a resource to improve placement stability
  • it was put forward as a recommended option for change in the 2018 Care Crisis Review report
  • it can also generate significant cost savings through its focus on supporting the child and their family on their return.

To ensure we are offering the best possible support, we have evaluated how we work with organisations using the framework.

> Read our implementation evaluation of the Reunification Practice Framework

What support can we offer?

We help local authorities to use the framework through:

  • implementation workshops for strategic leads to think through systems changes and articulate the vision for improvement in their local area
  • training for practice champions to support practice leads to roll out a programme of learning and skills development to all relevant staff in the authority
  • practice forums to share learning and troubleshoot challenges with other local authorities who are implementing the framework.

How to deliver the Reunification Practice Framework

Our implementation support package can help local authorities to implement and successfully embed the framework within their local teams.

Email for more information about delivering this service.

References and resources

References and resources

Baby Steps

Brookes, H. and Coster, D. (2014) Evaluation of the first year of Baby Steps: parents’ perspectives. London: NSPCC.

Brookes, H. and Coster, D. (2014) Baby Steps in a prison context: parents’ perspectives. London: NSPCC.

Brookes, H. and Coster, D. (2015) Baby Steps: perspectives of parents from a minority ethnic background. London: NSPCC.

Coster, D., Brookes, H. and Sanger, C. (2015) Evaluation of the Baby Steps programme: pre- and post-measures study. London: NSPCC.

Hogg, S., Coster, D. and Brookes, H. (2015) Baby Steps: evidence from a relationships-based perinatal education programme: summary document. London: NSPCC.

Johnson, R. and Andersson, T. (2018) Implementation evaluation of Baby Steps scale-up. London: NSPCC.

Coping with Crying

Coster, D. et al (2016) Evaluation of Coping with Crying: final report. London: NSPCC.

Coster, D. (2017) Changing parents’ behaviour using a psycho‐educational film as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of non‐accidental head injury. Child Abuse Review, 26(6): 465-476.

Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together (DART)

Home Office (2018) Children affected by domestic abuse to benefit from £8 million fund. [Accessed 23/07/2020].

Humphreys, C., Mullender, A., Thiara, R. and Skamballis, A. (2006) ‘Talking to My Mum’ Developing Communication Between Mothers and Children in the Aftermath of Domestic Violence. Journal of Social Work. 6. 53-63.

Mertin, P. (1995) A follow up study of children from domestic violence. Australian Journal of Family Law. 9 (1): 76-86.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) (2019) Domestic Abuse in England and Wales Overview: November 2019. [Accessed 23/07/2020].

Smith, E., Belton, E., Cooke, S (2020) Impact evaluation of the scale-up of Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together. London: NSPCC.

Smith, E. (2016) Domestic abuse, recovering together (DART): evaluation report. London: NSPCC.

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

Wolfe, D.A., et al. (1986) Child witnesses to violence between parents: critical issues in behavioral and social adjustment. Journal of abnormal child psychology. 14 (1): 95-104.

Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2)

Brandon, M. et al. (2013) Neglect and serious case reviews: a report from the university of East Anglia commissioned by NSPCC. London: NSPCC.

Johnson, R. and Cotmore, R. (2015) National evaluation of the Graded Care Profile. London: NSPCC.

Johnson, R., Smith, E. and Fisher, H. (2015) Testing the reliability and validity of the Graded Care Profile version 2 (GCP2). London: NSPCC.

Smith E., Johnson, R. and Andersson, T. (2018) Implementation evaluation of the scale-up of Graded Care Profile 2. London: NSPCC.

Harmful Sexual Behaviour Framework

Hackett, S., Holmes, D. and Branigan, P. (2016) Operational framework for children and young people displaying harmful sexual behaviours. London: NSPCC.

Letting the Future In

Carpenter, J. et al (2016) Letting the Future In: a therapeutic intervention for children affected by sexual abuse and their carers: an evaluation of impact and implementation. London: NSPCC.

Home Office (2019) Commissioning framework for child sexual abuse support (PDF). London: Home Office.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (2017) Child abuse and neglect: NICE guidance (PDF). London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Reunification Practice Framework

Magilton, S. (2018) Implementation evaluation of reunification practice framework scale up: learning points for sustainable practice. London: NSPCC.

Wilkins, M. (2015) How to implement the reunification practice framework: a checklist for local authorities. London: NSPCC.

Wilkins, M. and Farmer, E. (2015) Reunification: an evidence-informed framework for return home practice. London: NSPCC.


Romanou, E. (2018) What have we learnt from scaling up NSPCC services? (PDF) London: NSPCC