Using evidence to improve young lives

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“Some things I can’t do, but some things I can”

We are in the process of editing a book on young people facing severe and multiple disadvantage, the results on an Inquiry led by young people and supported by Dartington and the LankellyChase Foundation. There are lots of words spilling on to the cutting room floor, some of them very good words, including this poem prepared by Sean Mahoney.

Michael Little | 4 December 2014 | 0 Comments

The bad behaviour of good people

People are neither bad nor good, they are both. So goes the argument of Amelia Kohm – a collaborator and former student of the SRU – in the first of a new series of ibooks by the SRU.

Michael Little | 28 November 2014 | 0 Comments

How to copy and get away with it

A consortium led by Catch-22 in partnership with the Social Research Unit at Dartington, the Young Foundation and Substance have been working on a major project funded by the Big Lottery Fund called Realising Ambition for a few years now. We have allocated £25 million to enable 23 voluntary organisations – large and small – […]

Michael Little | 28 November 2014 | 0 Comments

How does social work, work?

At the end of September I led a seminar at the LankellyChase Foundation on behalf of Frontline, an organisation testing innovations in social work training. The seminar brought together a group of experts, in social work, in children and families, and in research. Our idea is to start a conversation about how social work works, […]

Michael Little | 28 November 2014 | 0 Comments

Focusing on what works, not just what is new

This is the approach taken by Realising Ambition – a £25 million programme replicating interventions aimed at preventing children and young people from entering the criminal justice system. This blog is the first of a series looking at features that support organisations to replicate effectively. Here Tim Hobbs and Cassandra Ohlson explore the importance of having a tightly defined intervention with a clear focus on outcomes.

Tim Hobbs | 13 November 2014 | 0 Comments

Standards, standards, everywhere

In the children’s services field we are seeing the emergence of a number of sets of standards – specifically, standards of evidence. This is on the back of a renewed commitment to evidence informing policy and practice. In this blog Nick Axford gives an overview and provides some suggested ‘rules’, or principles, that might help those of us involved in developing and applying standards of evidence.

Nick Axford | 6 February 2014 | 0 Comments

Growing frogs

A common objection to evidence-based programmes is that they are squeezing out innovation. Here we argue the opposite: that these programmes are products of innovation, and therefore that more – and, critically, better – innovation is needed. This is why we have recently published ‘Design & Refine: Developing effective interventions for children and young people’. We have written it to help people working in children’s services to design an intervention and plan for its implementation.

Nick Axford | 25 October 2013 | 0 Comments

New solutions for early years care

Our co-director, Louise Morpeth, blogs for the Big Lottery Fund on why it is so important for communities to join professionals and policymakers in generating solutions that enhance the delivery of early years care.

Louise Morpeth | 22 October 2013 | 0 Comments

Tim Hobbs presents on the ‘Innovation to Proven Impact Pipeline’

Senior Researcher Tim Hobbs presented on the ‘Innovation to Proven Impact Pipeline’ at the Wales Third Sector Funding Conference 2013.

Tim drew on our work on the BIG Lottery Fund’s Realising Ambition programme to illustrate the features of an effective service and some of the routes from innovation to proven impact. He also shared a number of tools to help funders and commissioners identify best practice and for service delivery organisations to become best practice.

Laura Whybra | 8 October 2013 | 0 Comments

Louise Morpeth speaks at Alliance for Useful Evidence event on ‘what is good evidence?’

Louise Morpeth, co-Director of the Social Research Unit at Dartington, spoke at an Alliance for Useful Evidence event outlining her views on standards of evidence, focusing in on economic models, implementation, the incentives for Commissioners to use evidence, and how we ensure evidence standards do not hinder innovation in social policy.

Laura Whybra | 8 October 2013 | 0 Comments