This project is no longer active and all user accounts are now disabled. It is archived here for reference purposes only.

12. Evaluation of child protection services

  • Evaluation should be seen as an ongoing process rather than a one-off or periodic event.
  • Effective evaluation requires services to have clearly defined aims and put in place mechanisms for gathering appropriate data which can be analysed to provide clear information on service outcomes. However, it needs to be acknowledged that some service aims and outcomes will be harder to measure.
  • Self-evaluation is an important tool which can reduce the regulatory and inspection workload on child protection services. For self-evaluation to be effective, local authorities need to be clear about what kind of evidence they are expected to gather. Local authorities should consider different methods of collecting data, its interpretation and the lessons which can be learned from this data.
  • Engaging service users in evaluation of service provision should also be an ongoing process. More formal evaluation involving service users may, however, be necessary periodically. Such engagement requires careful thought as to the best ways of engaging service users about the services they have received, recognising service users’ rights not to participate and that such initiatives require both organisational time and money.
    Borland et al, 2001; Scottish Executive, 2006; Crerar, 2007; Levitt et al, 2010; Griesbach et al, 2008