Services we no longer deliver

Last updated: 16 Jan 2019
Introduction

Sharing what we’ve learnt to keep more children safe

Our services go through a rigorous cycle of developing, delivering and testing. We learn what works and what doesn’t. It teaches us a huge amount about how to innovate, evaluate, share learning and influence effectively.

Afterwards, we continue to deliver some services ourselves and, through our Scale-up Unit, we help other organisations to deliver programmes that have been proven to be effective.

The learning from services that we no longer deliver helps us to develop new services and make them as effective as they can be to help more children.

Assessing the Risk, Protecting the Child

Assessing the Risk, Protecting the Child

We worked with the Sexual Behaviour Unit in Newcastle to develop Assessing the Risk, Protecting the Child to help protect children from men who pose a sexual risk.

What we learnt

Practitioners, referrers and service users all gave us feedback on their experience of the service. Findings included:

  • family assessment reports provided by the service helped professionals to decide on the actions and support needed to protect children
  • most professionals were satisfied with how long the process took, but it was felt it took too long for the families involved
  • professionals felt the reports could be made more accessible to families by making them shorter and using clearer language.

The evaluation concluded that the assessment reports had made an impact on child protection, but this will always be limited as the assessment is only done at one point in time and the level of input cannot change deep-seated attitudes and behaviours. (Belton, 2017)

> Read the final evaluation report

> See the References and resources tab for a full list of reports about this service

Building on our learning

Following a strategic review of programmes and resources, we are no longer delivering Assessing the Risk, Protecting the Child. However, the learning from our evaluation will be helpful to others delivering similar services.

Caring Dads: Safer Children

Caring Dads: Safer Children

We developed Caring Dads: Safer Children (CDSC) for fathers having difficulties in their family because of their abusive or violent behaviour.

What we learnt

Findings from the evaluation of Caring Dads: Safer Children include:

  • CDSC can bring about positive improvements in fathers’ attitudes and behaviour
  • fathers and partners reported fewer incidents of domestic abuse after receiving the service
  • potential risks to children were reduced as most fathers found being a parent less stressful and interacted better with their children
  • sustained improvements in most fathers’ behaviour contributed to increased feelings of safety and wellbeing within their families

(McConnell et al, 2016)

> Read the full evaluation report

Building on our learning

We’re sharing our learning from delivering Caring Dads: Safer Children in five NSPCC centres in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The learning in our service delivery report can inform other organisations delivering the Caring Dads programme or similar programmes.

> Read the service delivery report

> See the References and resources tab for a full list of reports about this service

Coping with Crying

Coping with Crying

Coping with Crying is a film that health professionals can show to new and expectant parents, to help them learn how best to respond when their baby is crying.

Once parents have watched the film, they talk about it with a professional and are given an information leaflet to take home with them, which they can refer back to when they need to.

What we learnt

We evaluated Coping with Crying in hospitals across the UK. We found encouraging evidence that it helps parents react in a positive way when their baby is crying. This can help keep babies safe by reducing the risk of non-accidental head injuries.

Our evidence suggests that, during times of stress, parents who had watched the film were reacting in a positive way to their infant crying and were seeking help when it was necessary (Coster et al, 2016).

> Read the full evaluation report

Building on our learning

So that more families can benefit from Coping with Crying, we’ve put together an online training package to help professionals use it with new parents. As well as training materials, the package includes:

  • access to the film
  • leaflets for parents
  • implementation guidance
  • a script for practitioners to use when showing the film to parents
  • a manual for managers and practitioners on how to deliver the programme to parents
  • promotional materials.

> Sign up for Delivering the Coping with Crying programme – online course

Evidence-based Decisions

Evidence-based Decisions

We developed this service to help local-authority social workers to assess parents’ abilities to look after their children, when there are serious concerns about the children’s wellbeing.

The assessment uses a tool called the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale (NCFAS), which was developed in the USA by Dr Ray Kirk at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

What we learnt

We gathered feedback from social workers and practitioners who had used the tool, and looked at how families benefitted from the service. Findings include:

  • social workers felt the Evidence-based Decisions review helped them make the right decisions for families
  • the use of scores to highlight the need for action, and their presentation in traffic light colour-coded charts, helped parents and professionals identify key issues quickly
  • some social workers said the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale provided more concrete evidence than assessment tools they commonly used, such as the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) triangle

(Williams, 2015).

> Read the evaluation report

Building on our learning

Following a strategic review of programmes and resources, we are no longer delivering Evidence-based Decisions. However, the learning from our evaluation will be helpful to others delivering similar services.

Face to Face

Face to Face

We developed Face to Face to give children in care a confidential service that they could access quickly, to help them cope with any problems they may face now or in the future.

What we learnt

Our evaluation measured the change in wellbeing for children and young people from the beginning to the end of the service, as well as three months after finishing. Findings include:

  • there was a significant reduction in the number of children with clinical levels of distress after receiving the service
  • the majority of children and young people said that Face to Face had helped them to solve the immediate concerns that were affecting their wellbeing
  • three months after finishing their last Face to Face session, the improvements in wellbeing scores for the majority of children and young people were sustained

(Fernandes, 2015).

> Read the evaluation report

> See the References and resources tab for a full list of reports about this service

Building on our learning

We have produced a solution-focused practice toolkit of resources for practitioners who want to use this approach to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people.

We have also produced an implementation guide for those who are interested in setting up a service like Face to Face.

Family SMILES

Family SMILES

We developed Family SMILES to help children aged 8 to 14 whose parents or carers faced mental-health problems to build self-esteem, resilience and life skills.

Our goal was to give them the confidence to talk about their experiences with other young people who faced similar situations.

What we learnt

Our final evaluation looked at the experiences of parents and children who took part in Family SMILES.

Findings include:

  • there was a small, but statistically significant, improvement in children’s emotional wellbeing and behaviour
  • there were improvements in parents’ abilities to communicate with their children, and positive changes in their parenting
  • children valued meeting others facing similar difficulties and learning about mental health
  • parents appreciated being able to reflect on the impact of challenges they had experienced in their lives

(Fernandes, 2017).

> Read the final evaluation report

> See the References and resources tab for a full list of reports about this service

Building on our learning

We used what we learnt from our evaluation of Family SMILES to develop a new service, Young SMILES. This aimed to modify the programme to make it suitable for long-term delivery in the NHS.

> See the Young SMILES tab for more information about that service

FEDUP

Family Environment: Drug Using Parents (FEDUP)

We developed Family Environment: Drug Using Parents (FEDUP) to support children whose parents misuse drugs or alcohol.

What we learnt

We measured the impact of FEDUP on 59 parents and 253 children who took part in the programme between September 2011 and December 2015. We compared the results with a group of families who were waiting to start the programme.

Findings include:

  • There were small but statistically significant improvements in children’s self-esteem and emotional and behavioural wellbeing.
  • Parents who took part in FEDUP reported having more understanding of how their substance use affects their children, being more able to communicate with their children and establishing calmer home environments.
  • Children whose parents actively engaged in the programme experienced more positive changes than those whose parents didn’t engage.

> Read the final evaluation report

Building on our learning

Following a strategic review of programmes and resources, we are no longer delivering FEDUP. However, the learning from our evaluation will be helpful to others delivering similar services.

Graded Care Profile 2

Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2)

Graded Care Profile was created by consultant paediatrician Dr Srivastava. We worked with Dr Srivastava to develop a more user-friendly and comprehensive version of the tool, called Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2).

The tool helps professionals measure the quality of care being given to children, where there are concerns that they might be being neglected. Professionals use GCP2 to ‘grade’ aspects of family life on a scale of 1 to 5. The assessment helps identify the support needed to improve the level of care children receive.

What we learnt

Our evaluation of the original GCP tool found that it helped practitioners:

  • focus on the child
  • build relationships with families
  • improve the recording and reporting of neglect.

However, practitioners also told us that the language used in the tool was inaccessible and not always appropriate for use in a diverse and multicultural society. These findings fed in to the development of GCP2.

(Johnson and Cotmore, 2015)

> Read the evaluation report of Graded Care Profile

We evaluated GCP2 to test its reliability and validity. We asked different practitioners to use GCP2 to assess the same family. Practitioners usually came up with the same results, suggesting that the tool is reliable. We also found that results from practitioners using GCP2 strongly correlated with those using two other assessment tools, suggesting the tool is valid.

(Johnson, Smith and Fisher, 2015)

> Read the evaluation report of Graded Care Profile 2

> See the References and resources tab for a full list of reports about this service

Building on our learning

We are now making GCP2 available to other organisations through our Scale-up Unit.

We have carried out an evaluation of how well the scale-up of GCP2 is working. Practitioners felt that, when the tool was well embedded, it improved their practice and benefitted the families they worked with. Practitioners also identified potential barriers to implementation, which have helped us refine and improve the scale-up process.

(Smith, Johnson and Andersson, 2018)

> Read our full implementation evaluation of Graded Care Profile 2

> Find out more about delivering GCP2 in your area

Improving Parenting, Improving Practice

Improving Parenting, Improving Practice

Improving parenting, improving practice tested two different ways of reducing neglect by helping parents to develop a better bond with their child and understand what they need.

The two methods tested were:

  • Video Interaction Guidance (VIG), which showed parents film clips of themselves interacting with their children to show them their strengths, to build their confidence and encourage them to think about how they respond to their child
  • Positive Parenting Programme (Pathways Triple P), which worked with families through home visits to help them set and achieve a series of parenting goals.

What we learnt

Our evaluations are the first to test the methods’ effectiveness in helping children who have been neglected in the UK.

The evaluations found that:

  • children had fewer emotional and behavioural difficulties after participating in the Video Interaction Guidance programme or the Pathways Triple P programme
  • parents felt their parenting had improved following VIG or Triple P
  • parents valued working with a practitioner who is flexible with new ideas and suggestions, and non-judgemental in their approach

(Whalley, 2015; Whalley, 2015).

> Read the evaluation of Video Interaction Guidance

> Read the evaluation of the Pathways Triple P programme

Building on our learning

Following a strategic review of programmes and resources, we are no longer delivering Improving Parenting, Improving Practice. However, the learning from our evaluation will be helpful to others delivering similar services.

SafeCare

SafeCare

SafeCare was developed to offer practical support to parents of children aged 5 or under. It aimed to help parents to develop parenting skills and focus on the needs of their child.

What we learnt

Our evaluation supports existing evidence that SafeCare can improve parenting skills. Findings include:

  • the majority of the families where neglect was a concern prior to SafeCare improved to a point where they were considered protected from neglect
  • parents liked receiving the service in their home and said it gave them a ‘safe place’ to practise their parenting skills
  • parents said the positive feedback they received helped build their confidence in their parenting abilities
  • SafeCare was valued by referrers: the vast majority of those who responded to the survey said they would refer similar families to SafeCare in the future

(Churchill, 2015).

> Read the evaluation report

> See the References and resources tab for a full list of reports about this service

Building on our learning

Following a strategic review of programmes and resources, we are no longer delivering SafeCare. However, the learning from our evaluation will be helpful to others delivering similar services.

Steps to Safety

Steps to Safety

Steps to Safety was an early-intervention programme to help families living with domestic abuse. It aimed to help parents with young children reduce stress, respond calmly to conflict and respond more sensitively to their children.

The programme used mood management, mindfulness and video interaction guidance to help parents identify and manage their emotions, interact positively with each other and with their children, and stop domestic abuse from happening.

What we learnt

We piloted Steps to Safety to see how it could help parents create a safer and more stable future for their children.

We learnt that practitioners needed to have the right skills and be open minded about using the Steps to Safety model.

Steps to Safety also taught us about working with families who are learning to:

  • manage their emotions and change their behaviour
  • deal with stress and conflict more appropriately
  • parent their children more sensitively.

Building on our learning

The pilot phase for Steps to Safety has come to a planned close, but it provided us with valuable learning.

Young SMILES

Young SMILES

Young SMILES (Simplifying Mental Illness plus Life Enhancement Skills) built on the learning from our Family SMILES service. It aimed to help families affected by mental health problems to understand their mental health and improve their wellbeing.

What we learnt

A research team from the University of Manchester led and managed the evaluation of Young SMILES. The research team included clinicians in Northumberland Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust; researchers and delivery teams working at different universities; NSPCC staff in England; and Barnardo’s in Newcastle. The evaluation was funded by a grant from the National Institute for Health Research.

The research team carried out a randomised control trial (RCT) with 60 families to find out if Young SMILES is helpful for children and young people, and whether it provides additional benefits to the support that is currently on offer.

Building on our learning

Following a strategic review of programmes and resources, we are no longer delivering Young SMILES, but we are analysing the data that was collected during the RCT.

References and resources

References and resources

Assessing the Risk, Protecting the Child

Belton, E. (2017) Assessing the Risk, Protecting the Child: final evaluation report. London: NSPCC.

Belton, E. (2015) Assessing the Risk, Protecting the Child: views of the men and protective parents/carers assessed. London: NSPCC.

Belton, E. (2015) Assessing the Risk: Protecting the Child: referrers’ perspectives. London: NSPCC.

Belton, E. (2015) Assessing the Risk: Protecting the Child: impact and evidence briefing. London: NSPCC.

Caring Dads: Safer Children

McConnell, N. et al (2016) Caring Dads: Safer Children: evaluation report. London: NSPCC.

McConnell, N. et al (2016) Caring Dads: Safer Children: learning from delivering the programme. London: NSPCC.

McConnell, N. et al (2014) Caring Dads: Safer Children: interim evaluation report. 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.

Evidence-based Decisions

Williams, M. (2015) Evidence based decisions in child neglect: an evaluation of an exploratory approach to assessment using the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale. London: NSPCC.

Face to Face

Fernandes, P. (2015) Evaluation of the Face to Face service: using a solution-focused approach with children and young people in care or on the edge of care. London: NSPCC.

NSPCC (2015) A guide to implementing the Face to Face service. London: NSPCC.

Fernandes, P. (2014) Face to Face service: impact and evidence briefing. London: NSPCC.

Family SMILES

Margolis, R. and Fernandes, P. (2017) Building children’s confidence and improving parents’ protective skills: final evaluation of the NSPCC Family SMILES service. London: NSPCC.

Cass, R. and Fernandes, P. (2014) Evaluation of Family SMILES: interim report. London: NSPCC.

Family Environment: Drug Using Parents (FEDUP)

Margolis, R. and Fernandes, P. (2017) Building children’s confidence and improving parents’ protective skills: final evaluation of the NSPCC FEDUP service. London: NSPCC.

Graded Care Profile 2

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.

Improving Parenting, Improving Practice

Whalley, P. (2015) Child neglect and Pathways Triple P: an evaluation of an NSPCC service offered to parents where initial concerns of neglect have been noted. London: NSPCC.

Whalley, P. (2015) Child neglect and Video Interaction Guidance: key findings and executive summary of an NSPCC service offered to parents where initial concerns of neglect have been noted. London: NSPCC.

SafeCare

Churchill, G. (2015) SafeCare: evidence from a home based parenting programme for neglect. London: NSPCC.

Churchill, G. (2015) SafeCare: parent’s perspectives on a home-based parenting programme for neglect. London: NSPCC.