The CSA Centre’s ‘effectiveness’ strand has three core components:
- The Evaluation Fund
- The knowledge review
- The evaluation study
The Evaluation Fund
Between October 2017 and March 2018, we funded 17 providers of CSA services in England and Wales to improve their capacity to assess and evidence their services’ effectiveness as part of our Evaluation Fund. The Fund has supported services to become evaluation-ready, to enable them to self-evaluate and produce stronger evidence on their way of working. Grantees have given examples of achievements they have made through the Fund.
The CSA Centre’s Evaluation Fund: a reflection
This report sets out the experiences of the service providers involved in the Evaluation Fund, and may prove valuable in the planning of any similar funding projects in the future. This report does not contain information about the evaluation tools developed through the Fund; this will be the subject of separate guidance to be published in 2019.
We believe that similar initiatives would offer a great opportunity for service providers to work towards addressing a gap in knowledge about what is effective when responding to CSA.
We will be publishing guidance in 2019 which will aim to encourage evaluation, or improved evaluation, of a wider range of services which did not receive grants through the Evaluation Fund.
The knowledge review (to be completed in January 2019)
Studying effectiveness of services in this field is challenging as children who experience CSA, rightly, receive a flexible, responsive, multi-agency service. To set the groundwork for an evaluation of services, the CSA Centre commissioned London Metropolitan University and DMSS to undertake a knowledge review to identify key positive elements of practice when responding to CSA. This had a particular (though not exclusive) focus on those who are in or are leaving care and/or those who have learning difficulties/disabilities .
The evaluation study (from January 2019)
The findings from the knowledge review will inform an evaluation study to measure the effectiveness of specialist services responding to CSA, by investigating the short and medium term outcomes for service users, triangulating their own and others’ perspectives.