02 December 2013
reason (the research, evaluation and analysis support network co-led by research in practice, research in practice for adults and NFER) has supported Bracknell Forest Council to evaluate its Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Service (DAPS). The council commissioned the evaluation to provide evidence for the programme's impact on service users and their families.
reason worked with Bracknell Forest Council to agree the key themes and drivers for the evaluation, the stakeholders to be consulted, and how the findings would be used. reason also developed the interview schedules; telephone-interviewed perpetrators, their current/ex-partners, and staff supporting families currently engaging with the DAPS programme; analysed the interview data; and produced an emerging findings paper and the final evaluation report.
- The evaluation provides encouraging evidence for the DAPS programme’s effectiveness and impact. The findings can be used to shape the programme, but should be interpreted cautiously due to the limited sample and absence of 'hard' data.
- The programme supported most perpetrators to address their pro-abusive beliefs, attitudes and behaviour, although the extent to which this happened depended on their engagement with the programme.
- Perpetrator's engagement depended on their willingness and commitment to engage and to change; substance misuse issues; and the extent of their partner's support.
- Perpetrators and partners received a range of additional support in addition to the programme, but identified some unmet support needs.
- The programme's strengths related to its flexible delivery model; delivery staff's approach; the 'positive thinking' elements; and regular reviews. It could be improved through including mental health awareness.