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Strengthening Families, Protecting Children (SFPC)

Latest insights from the SFPC pilot evaluations from What Works in Children’s Social Care

Strengthening Families, Protecting Children (SFPC)

Discover how the findings from the Pilot Evaluation of Family Valued in Darlington can help other local authorities during their implementation of the approach.

What Works for Children’s Social Care published their Family Valued Pilot Evaluation report on 29 September 2021. The report looked at how Family Valued was implemented in Darlington as part of the Department for Education’s Strengthening Families, Protecting Children programme.

The purpose of the pilot evaluation was to provide key insights into the early roll-out of the approach, which might be useful for subsequent local authorities who are embarking on their own Family Valued journey. The report also informs the next stage of the evaluation – the final report, due in 2027, will examine the impact of Family Valued on the likelihood of children being looked after.

The report considers what worked well in Darlington, as well as ways in which delivery could be improved, to provide recommendations for new areas introducing Family Valued:

  • Ensure training is tailored to staff specialisms and includes opportunities to observe practice, and that a comprehensive training and information programme is delivered to partners.
  • Appoint key local roles to support and champion local rollout of the model.
  • Introduce restorative referral processes at the Front Door and for referral to restorative services such as FGC.
  • Provide clear communication about integration with existing practice models.

To ensure longer-term sustainability of Family Valued in areas where the implementation has already begun:

  • Focus on creating an organisation-wide culture change, with buy-in from managers and leaders, to help staff, particularly those working in Child Protection, to embrace and feel confident working restoratively.
  • Deliver continued modelling at a leadership level, as well as continued training, regular communications and development of further guidance to support embedding of Restorative Practice.

In this short video, Hannah Collyer, the researcher leading the evaluation, discusses some of the key findings and recommendations.

SFPC Family Valued Darlington Evaluation

Read the full report

You can read the full report on the What Works for Children’s Social Care website.