Supporting Children and Families with Complex Needs: An Exploration of the Risks and Benefits of Voluntary Sector Service Provision as an Alternative to Statutory Services

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Abstract

The Early Intervention Transformation Programme was established to improve outcomes for children and young people across Northern Ireland through embedding evidence based early intervention approaches within services for children and families with complex needs. As part of the Delivering Social Change/Atlantic Philanthropies Signature Programme, Early Intervention Transformation Programme funded a range of voluntary and statutory organisations to deliver early intervention services to children and families in Northern Ireland. In addition, evaluations of the commissioned projects were undertaken (called ‘learning reviews’) to capture insights and learning into their commissioning, operation and outcomes.
As part of this focus on using evidence based approaches to commissioning and delivering services, this research was also commissioned under the Early Intervention Transformation Programme to examine the research evidence on the use of the voluntary sector to provide services and supports to families with complex needs and investigate the extent to which this international research was applicable to Northern Ireland. This study addressed four core questions
1. What are the main issues with the commissioning, governance and delivery of services by the voluntary sector?
2. What is currently known about how services provided by the voluntary sector can influence family outcomes and does this differ depending on the model of delivery and/or governance used?
3. Does the voluntary sector supplement, hinder or substitute statutory social work services?
4. Are there gaps in our knowledge, policies and/or data collection which may need to be addressed in order to develop an effective, efficient and economical model of service provision in this area?
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBelfast
PublisherQueens University Belfast
Commissioning bodyPublic Health Agency
Number of pages68
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Children and Families
  • Complex Needs
  • Voluntary Sector
  • Service Provision
  • Statutory Services

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