Dr Alice Haynes discusses the implications and importance of identifying a service that isn't working
The social care sector's move to evaluating the effectiveness of services for children and families is an exciting step forward in tackling the problems many families in Britain face.
Evidence moves practice from what we think works to what we know works.
We put our hearts and souls into developing services for children and families: we believe they will be effective. However, as we test services, there's a risk that we'll find they don't achieve the outcomes we wanted them to.
No one wants to deliver a service that doesn't help families, but there are risks when admitting that a service doesn't work, in particular loss of commissioning or funding for the service and potentially other initiatives from the implementing organisation, and in terms of reputation.
Negative evaluation findings are part and parcel of the process. Inevitably we'll find some services we design, or import from other countries, don't work – that's the nature of innovation.
I want to highlight that while negative evaluation findings may be disappointing, they are essential in moving forward.