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Supporting Barnardo’s to understand the digital experience of people who use their services

We were commissioned by Barnardo’s to undertake a two-year evaluation of their ‘Opening Closed Doors’ domestic abuse programme that is delivered across four local authority areas in South East Wales and funded by the Home Office

  • Situation and task

  • What was the impact?

  • Key success factors

  • Situation and task

  • Situation and task

    The start of the second year of the evaluation coincided with the onset of the pandemic and it was agreed that this phase of evaluation would focus on exploring the experience of adapting the programme so that it could continue to be delivered during lockdown. What this meant in reality was that the usual ways of providing support by visiting people in their homes and running groups in community venues had to be replaced by digital and remote methods.

    We explored how this was experienced by staff and participants, to highlight the strengths and weaknesses and implications for the ongoing development of the programme. The evaluation activities that we carried out included:

    • A rapid research review of the evidence relating to digital/remote delivery of family support/domestic abuse programmes
    • An online focus group with staff
    • Telephone and online interviews with participants on the programme
    • A review of Barnardo’s materials and content that was developed to support online delivery
  • What was the impact?

  • What was the impact?

    The study provided Barnardo’s with valuable and rapid ‘real time’ feedback about how staff and the people participating in the programme experiencing the significant changes to the delivery of the programme as well as highlighting some potential drawbacks and risks. It has contributed to the body of knowledge that is being currently developed about alternative ways of delivering family support and in particular domestic abuse services using technology.

    The report offered recommendations on what the client should do to mitigate any risks and ensure they got the best out of the new approaches.

  • Key success factors

  • Key success factors

    The second year study was completed quickly so findings could help to inform service development right away.

    It included interviews with a range of people participating in the programme who had experience of the different interventions provided, including support for adult survivors, young people and work with perpetrators.

    It included a review of the published literature to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the pros and cons of using remote and digital methods and emerging best practice.

Clare Dodwell, Principal Consultant
Clare Dodwell, Principal Consultant

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