During a 5-year intensive family support (IFS) programme to provide effective, lasting intervention for families and children most in need Action for Children created a redefined focus on neglect in a selection of sites across the UK: the UK Neglect Project.
The intention was to improve outcomes for children whose developmental needs were being insufficiently met, placing them at risk of poor educational, emotional and social outcomes. An earlier evaluation reported that IFS could “make a positive difference to the lives of children and their families in even the most challenging circumstances”.
This evaluation was designed to establish the factors that made this possible. A four-year longitudinal evaluation was commissioned which would allow researchers to follow families from referral to closure, and to pursue the work of individual sites over a period of development of working practices.