Evaluating the Early Impact of Integrated Childrens Services: Round 1

Anne Wilkin, Kay Kinder, Jennie Harland, Mary Atkinson, Pippa Lord

01 June 2008

The LARC Study - one year in

In this first year (Round 1), LARC’s aim was to identify the early impact of integrated children’s services and the features that promote or hinder success in improving outcomes for children and young people. This was explored through the lens of services and support for three key groups of vulnerable young people: looked-after children, children with autistic spectrum disorders, and young people at key stage 3 with poor school attendance. The LARC study highlights the evidence for early impact on services, practitioners and the children and young people and families under study. There are examples of how outcomes have improved for some of the people involved, making use of qualitative evidence, stories and case studies gathered throughout the study. The findings from the first year of the research are reported in relation to a four-level model of impact. This model helped LAs to reflect on their progress towards integration. A summary of the findings is also available.

LARC’s research also highlights the importance in integrated children’s services development of working relationships and communication, clarity of purpose and a clear and shared vision, commitment at all levels, and developing a common language between partners. Many of the findings from LARC echo findings of other research into integrated working. A summary of a literature review about the enablers, challenges and impact of different models of integrated working is available.

The research was carried out in localities within the 14 participating LAs. Through interviews with over 120 service leaders, managers and practitioners, and around 200 children and family members, the study captured their views on early impact and on the support they were receiving.

The findings from the LARC study Round 1 are available here.

The report on the findings from the LARC study Round 1 contains links, underlined in blue, to relevant areas in the full report that provide more information.