In stage one (as part of a wider scoping phase) we explored West Sussex’s data collection policy, processes and systems for individual family data, collated service data and service costs. This included:
In stages two and three of the evaluation (where we focused on effectiveness, family outcomes and impact) we built data verification into our core method. For example, we conducted 23 systematic case file reviews and then interviewed 12 of these families - to ensure the findings were aligned with data held on them. This case file review and family interview process also helped us to strengthen assumptions underpinning the economic model (sustainability, attribution) in addition to obtaining depth qualitative data.
- The economic evaluation report showed the savings made through actual costs avoided (reduced demand), and how this related to different partner agencies. We also developed 12 illustrative costed case studies to help partners and politicians understand how Think Family worked and the kind of costs associated with individual families.
- The second report focused on qualitative data around effectiveness, outcomes and impact. It detailed the type of families involved, the issues they were experiencing, soft and hard outcomes achieved, perceptions of sustainability of outcomes and how this reduced demand.
The final reports were presented and discussed in a range of different settings. The full report was presented the Think Family Evaluation steering group; we delivered a PowerPoint presentation and summary to the multi-agency Think Family partnership. Our reports have subsequently been used in cabinet and multi-agency partnership to help lever funding from partners and inform the future model. Practitioners were informed through a summary we gave to providers and emailed this directly to individual keyworkers who we had interviewed as part of the evaluation.