shutterstock_74974120ChildrenCount Surveys

The ChildrenCount Surveys are a set of tools designed to paint a representative picture of the needs of all children from birth to adolescence in a given community or local authority.

The data – when aggregated up to the population-level – are designed to inform the development of investment strategies to improve child outcomes, guide the selection and implementation of evidence-based services and the design of new innovations.

The tools generate unparalleled data from approximately 600 parents of young children and up to 10,000 school-age children in a given area. These data are powerfully and dynamically visualised and considered alongside existing data on need and service use.

The ChildrenCount Surveys are an adapted version of the Evidence2Success methodology developed by the Social Research Unit at Dartington in partnership with the Annie E Casey Foundation and the Social Development Research Group.


RA mid programme report

Realising Ambition – Mid programme report

The Realising Ambition team has released its mid-programme report, outlining some initial learning on what helps and hinders the replication of evidence-based interventions. Realising Ambition is a UK-wide £25m Big Lottery Fund programme that aims to understand what works in preventing children and young people from entering the criminal justice system. Launched in 2012, the five year programme is providing grant funding and support to 22 organisations to refine and build the evidence base of their interventions.

The programme has now reached its mid-point with the organisations having worked with over 51,000 young people in 132 areas across the UK. The mid-programme report identifies five features that support effective replication and help funders and commissioners know what to look for when funding replication programmes as well support delivery organisations to identify what characteristics they need develop in order replicate effectively.

Mark McGann, Deputy Director of Knowledge Sharing and Policy from the Big Lottery Fund, said: ‘Realising Ambition is a ground-breaking programme of significant importance to helping at-risk children across the UK. Its findings have the potential to help commissioners and funders as well as organisations delivering on the ground to understand what works both in preventing youth offending and in replication.’

Read the Realising Ambition Mid-programme report.

Read the Realising Ambition Mid-programme summary report.

For more about Realising Ambition see the main page on Catch 22’s site.

Or take a look at SRU’s Realising Ambition project page which includes links to publications, webinars and more..


Investing in Children website

Please tell us what you think of our Investing in Children website

Investing in Children provides free and independent advice on competing investment options in children’s services. Users can search over 100 interventions to find those that match their criteria and then compare the costs and cost-benefit of different interventions. The interventions listed focus on the health, educational attainment, emotional well-being, behaviour and relationships of children aged 0-22 years.

The Social Research Unit launched Investing in Children in September 2013. It has been well received so far and we are looking to develop it further. We would be grateful for your feedback via this short survey that will inform future development of Investing in Children.

The website can be found at

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Trusts and foundations

Supporting trusts and foundations to develop, refine and evaluate grant-making strategies designed to improve children’s outcomes. More »

Birmingham Town Hall

Local authorities

Supporting local authorities alongside other statutory and voluntary agencies to develop and deliver evidence-based strategies for children’s services. More »

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Children’s service providers

Supporting charities and other children’s service providers to refine and evaluate their work – and move from innovation to proven impact . More »

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Children’s service professionals

Supporting evidence-based practice at the frontline through a range of practice tools. More »

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Better Evidence for a Better Start

Visit our microsite for information, resources and training materials on Better Evidence for a Better StartMore »


Investing in Children

The Social Research Unit’s one-stop-shop for children’s service commissioners, bringing together information about what works and cost-benefit analysis. More »

Journal of Children's Services

Journal of Children’s Services

A quarterly, peer-reviewed journal edited by the Social Research Unit on what works in children’s services. More »

Prevention Action

Prevention Action

A news site run by the Social Research Unit that reports on science, innovation, and evidence-based interventions to improve children’s health and development. More »

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