National Evaluation of the Children's Fund

This project ended in March 2006.

The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) commissioned a national evaluation of the Children's Fund with the aim of exploring what works in prevention and why. The research project ran for three years up to March 2006. The University of Birmingham, in partnership with the Institute of Education, were responsible for undertaking this research. The evaluation team also worked with Nemisys who provided a range of ICT services.

Features of the evaluation:

  • investigation of the impacts of the Children's Fund on children's life chances and the costs of obtaining those impacts
  • examination of prevention strategies and forms of partnership working
  • extensive involvement of children and families in the research activities
  • regular outputs aimed at directly informing those delivering and receiving Children's Fund services


The evaluation was led by Professor Anne Edwards, who is based at the University of Birmingham. The research programme had two strands:

Strand A
This strand was based at the Institute of Education and led by Professor Ian Plewis. This was the impact strand which operated as a comparative study using existing large-scale surveys and administrative datasets. The findings from this strand explored the effect the Children's Fund programme on the life chances of children.

Strand B
This strand focused on models of prevention - what works, how and why. The research team primarily worked with a sample of local partnerships to explore the processes and outcomes of their activity. They worked collaboratively with partnerships and provided information to them on a regular basis so their findings could help their on-going development. There were two surveys of all partnerships. Professor Edwards and Professor Marian Barnes, University of Birmingham led this strand.

Further details about this project are available on the National Evaluation of the Children's Fund website.

CLS staff who worked on this project included:

Alice Sullivan
Chris Baker
Robert Browne