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Evaluation of Growing Futures

Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme Evaluation Report 29

Growing Futures was established in Doncaster to improve the outcomes of families, and particularly children and young people (CYP), who have experienced Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA), by improving the services that work with them. It has been led by Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, which was established in October 2014. The Trust was set up following government intervention to address years of ‘inadequate’ standards within children’s services in Doncaster. Growing Futures was granted funding by the Department for Education Innovation Programme in April 2015, and became operational in September 2015. The project was designed to address significant historic difficulties with multi-agency working and poor levels of trust between service users and services. Its specific aims were:

  • to reduce the emotional harm caused by DVA to CYP
  • to directly support recovery from DVA for victims and their children
  • to significantly reduce repeat victimisation
  • to challenge acceptance of DVA among families and the wider community
  • to break the pattern of abuse as it re-presents itself in CYP

In order to measure its success, the project sought:

  • to reduce repeat cases to the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) by 25%
  • to reduce repeat referrals to social care where DVA is a factor by 30%
  • to reduce the number of children admitted to care by reducing the number of Children in Need where DVA is a factor by 10%