Publication Date: Monday 02 November 2020


Chris O’Leary, Kirstine Szifris, Kim Heyes, Grace Hothersall, Jessica Ozan, Dan Allen, Zinnia Mitchell-Smith


The Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme (CSCIP) was launched in 2014 to test and share effective ways of supporting vulnerable children and young people who need help from children’s social care services. The programme has supported 98 projects through £200 million of investment.

Eight of the projects involved piloting an intervention known as Staying Close. This is targeted at young people as they leave residential care and transition to independent adulthood, and is intended to provide advice, support, access to accommodation, and independent living skills. Five of the projects were evaluated by a team from the Policy Evaluation and Research Unit and the Department of Social Care and Social Work. These were:

  • Staying Close North Tyneside
  • St Christopher’s Staying Close
  • Bristol City Council Staying Close
  • North East Lincolnshire Staying
  • Staying Close Suffolk

Because (1) so few young people leave residential care in any one year, (2) each pilot was implemented differently, and (3) Staying Close is just one part of an overall leaving care system, a traditional impact evaluation was not feasible. The evaluation therefore used contribution analysis (Mayne, 2001) to understand the outcomes achieved by young people accessing these pilots.

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