How do we know if children’s social care services make a difference? Developing an outcomes framework

The study aims to develop an outcomes framework for children’s social care services (CSCS) based on the views of those who plan, deliver and use these services, as well as the existing evidence base.

Key findings

See below for reports and other outputs.

The study aimed to:

  • Develop a framework of the expected measurable outcomes for children from CSCS, and what intermediate outcomes (e.g. organisational and social work practice features) and improvements in services are necessary to achieve these ultimate goals
  • Identify a set of indicators that can be used to measure intermediate outcomes and outcomes for children who access CSCS, and that can help answer if and how these services have made a difference to their lives
  • Consider to what extent recommended outcomes could be measured using existing indicators, whether new indicators could be developed with existing data and what new data will be required

The outcomes framework will be developed to complement, rather than replace, national administrative data collected by the Department for Education.

The study includes four research components: a rapid evidence review; four in-depth case studies; consultations with CSCS users; and, workshops to validate the emerging research findings.

Research Team

Principal Investigators – Ivana La Valle and Lisa Holmes

Wider team – Di Hart and Vânia S. Pinto (Rees Centre)