Newham NewDAy

Newham NewDAy

Process, impact and economic evaluation. Domestic abuse. Child exploitation. Department for Education and Newham Council.

NewDAy was established by Newham Council as part of the Department for Education's Children's Social Care Innovation Programme. It was designed as a new, whole-family approach to tackling domestic abuse. Cordis Bright completed a process, impact and economic evaluation. We returned to complete a longitudinal evaluation to see whether any impact had been sustained over time. Over this period, Newham Council also developed the Divert-Ed! programme which was based on NewDAy but was focused on children at risk of exploitation. We completed a process and impact evaluation of this adapted model too.

About NewDAy

NewDAy is a non-statutory service which takes a non-judgemental, consent-based approach to working with families experiencing domestic abuse. It is offered to couples who have experienced situational violence not connected to controlling behaviour.

NewDAy consists of four parts accessed separately or in combination:

  • Short-term interventions providing preliminary support to children and young people, victims-survivors, and users of abuse.
  • Caring Dads (www.caringdads.org): a 17-week group programme centred on gender-based violence, used within NewDAy for users of abuse.
  • Inter-Parental Relationships (IPR): planned sessions with both parents informed by systemic practice and the work of Vetere and Cooper (2001).
  • Schools and Learning: school-focused support for children and young people. 

NewDAy seeks to achieve a range of improvements including reductions in prevalence of, and risk associated with, domestic abuse, and improvements in wellbeing and other outcomes for families.

About the evaluations

The original evaluation took a mixed-methods approach. It included semi-structured interviews with NewDAy staff, professionals working with families experiencing domestic abuse, children and young people, victims-survivors, and users of abuse. Other methods included an
observation of a group consultation session, a review of case files, and analysis of performance monitoring and impact data (including Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQs), Score-15, and education and social care outcome data). Analysis of quantitative data involved a counterfactual analysis using a historical comparison cohort. This was combined with data on social care tariffs to produce a cost-benefit analysis.

Our follow-up longitudinal evaluation was focused on updating the data study from our original report. It expanded the time span for the cost-benefit analysis and explored changes up to 30 months post-exit from NewDAy.

The evaluation of Divert-Ed! involved consultation with key stakeholders, a review of Divert-Ed! case studies, a review of Divert-Ed! documentation, and an e-survey of education practitioners around the intensiveness and quality of support provided.

Findings

The original evaluation:

  • Stakeholders praised its mixture of individual and whole-family approaches and its multiple tiers and points of access (such as home and school). That said, there was a mixed understanding among stakeholders outside of the NewDAy team in relation to NewDAy’s core rationale, and some difficulties were experienced translating this into practice. 
  • Making the case for a model based on a non-judgemental, consent-based approach to working with families experiencing domestic abuse required regular and ongoing communication, especially around reassuring practitioners about risk.
  • The collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach taken by NewDAy and the enhanced skills of the team were key strengths.
  • The programme was hindered by wider challenges across Newham children’s services, including high caseloads, high social worker turnover, and churn in senior leadership. This reduced the programme’s ability to embed and sustain improvements in mainstream practice.
  • Referrals to, and take-up of, NewDAy was lower than expected and attrition was relatively high.
  • NewDAy had a positive impact on outcomes for children and young people, e.g. improvements in anxiety and wellbeing, educational engagement and achievement, and the health of family relationships. Risk of harm to children and young people was reduced and feelings of safety improved.
  • The evaluation identified several individual success stories with positive outcomes for victims-survivors, including better communication between partners, a more relaxed family environment and improvements in their partner’s behaviour.
  • NewDAy contributed positively to improvements in knowledge, understanding, skills, and practice of social workers but the extent to which changes in culture and practice was embedded, scaled, and sustained was limited by wider challenges experienced by Newham children’s services. Positive impact was achieved for teachers and other school staff in relation to identification of domestic abuse and strategies to support children and young people.
  • The immediate-term cost-benefit analysis shows that over the course of one year, NewDAy saves 72% through reducing service use compared to a historical comparison group. When the running costs of NewDAy are factored in, NewDAy is operating at a net cost of 15% per year.

    The longitudinal evaluation:

    • NewDAy had a positive effect on how quickly the case status of children and young people affected by domestic violence and abuse de-escalated, and was most effective in de-escalating cases long-term for young people at higher risk. 
    • However, over the longer-term the scale of de-escalation converged so that by 12 and 24 months after exit there were few differences between the NewDAy cohort and the comparison group. 
    • Findings from the cost-benefit analysis suggest that (a) the overall costs of operating NewDAy, i.e. a highly specialist and experienced team, essentially outweighs the costs that can be saved over time by de-escalating statutory cases; and (b) the NewDAy model makes a particularly positive difference to costs if it successfully prevents children from entering care (or helps to remove children from care). A greater focus on this cohort could result in more immediate and substantial savings to the system.

    The evaluation of Divert-Ed!:

    • Preliminary outcomes identified for young people, families and professionals include improvements in children and young people’s wellbeing, engagement with school, a reduced risk of exploitation for young people; improved relationships between parents’/carers’ and professionals and children, improved understanding among parents/carers of young people’s needs and their own roles and responsibilities in supporting engagement with education, and improved skills, confidence and awareness for professionals in relation to young people’s educational needs.

    Resources

    Evaluation of NewDAy

    Longitudinal data study for NewDAy

    Evaluation of Divert-Ed!

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