Evaluation of Bracknell Forest Council’s Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Service

Evaluation of Bracknell Forest Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Service

Case Study Summary

  • Bracknell Forest Council commissioned support from reason* to help with planning, data collection, analysis and reporting on an evaluation of its DAPS programme.
  • We worked together to develop the research questions for the evaluation. reason then created topic guides, interviewed stakeholders, and analysed and reported the data. Bracknell supported this through identifying interviewees and helping to arrange the interviews.
  • Bracknell will now take forward the recommendations in the evaluation report and present the findings to senior colleagues in the Council.
  • The evaluation will strengthen negotiations around resources for the programme’s extension. It will also add value and an evidence base to internal perceptions of the programme’s effectiveness.

What was the project about?

Bracknell Forest Council commissioned Research in Practice, through the collaborative service reason*, to support an evaluation of their Domestic Abuse Perpetrators Service (DAPS). Specifically, they wanted help to plan the evaluation, gather data and analyse findings to provide an independent review of the process and impact of the service overall.

DAPS is a targeted intervention service delivered by specialist staff at Bracknell Forest Council. The evaluation investigated the extent to which the programme:

  • engaged perpetrators, stopped abuse and led to children’s removal from Child Protection Plans
  • helped perpetrators to understand why they abuse and to change their abusive attitudes and behaviour
  • helped perpetrators and their partners to access other support services
  • provided telephone support for perpetrators when appropriate.

What did we do?

We supported Bracknell Forest Council to develop the key research questions through delivering a bespoke workshop with key staff working within and alongside the service. We then created topic guides for perpetrators, their current/ex partners, and social services staff based on the outcomes identified in the workshop with staff.

Bracknell staff identified interviewees and supported the arrangement of interviews, which were conducted by telephone. The interviews explored the programme’s effectiveness and impact; multi-agency working around the programme; and identified future improvements.

Based on the analysis of the interview data, we produced an emerging findings paper for Bracknell, followed by a fuller evaluation report including conclusions and recommendations. The evaluation reports provided Bracknell Forest Council with an understanding of the effectiveness and impact of the DAPS programme, and will inform the future structure, delivery and resourcing of the DAPS programme.

Feedback from Karen Roberts, Head of Youth Offending Service, Bracknell Forest Council:

How well did we do?
We felt that reason delivered all elements of the delivery contract in a helpful, efficient and cooperative manner. In other words they did what they said they would do. We feel that they persisted in their efforts to communicate with a hard to engage target group even when this was difficult due to avoidance or a lack of cooperation from the people we identified to be interviewed.
 
What difference did we make?
We wouldn’t have been able to carry out this evaluation ourselves due to lack of capacity so them conducting this on our behalf was helpful.
 
What are the next steps for Bracknell Forest Council?
To take forward the recommendations in the report, and present the findings to Senior Managers and Partnership Boards within the Council.
This work will help us to make a more robust argument for resources to expand the project’s capacity and add value, and an evidence base to our own experience of the project’s effectiveness.
 

*reason is the Research, Evaluation and Analysis Support Network, a collaborative service involving Research in Practice, Research in Practice for Adults and the National Foundation for Educational Research.

 

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