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Case study

Pioneering places: Cheshire West and Chester & EIF


25 Sep 2015

From 2013, EIF worked with a network of 20 Pioneering Places, which provided an opportunity to learn and test how EIF might make the biggest difference to the business of delivering early intervention on the ground in local areas around England.

Cheshire West & Chester have been developing a ‘whole system’ approach to early intervention since 2013.

This Integrated Early Support (IES) model aims to help agencies identify which children, families and vulnerable adults are in need additional support services, in order to improve outcomes and reduce demand and expenditure on acute services. This model is being evaluated to measure its impact on outcomes, efficiency and potential savings. Cheshire West & Chester were keen for EIF to help them develop a robust evaluation framework to measure whether their Integrated Early Support model is reducing demand on other services, if it is a more efficient process and if it is improving outcomes in the authority.

EIF support & advice

  • EIF supported Chester West & Chester to develop an evaluation design that would meet a high standard of evidence by using a comparison group. This was felt to be important in increasing chances of obtaining funding for the evaluation and to fill the gaps in research evidence about the impact of integrated early help delivery models.
  • EIF supported Chester West & Chester to develop a robust and empirically valid evaluation of the IES model, which includes a comparative analysis of a control group from a similar local geographic area.
  • This evaluation was included in Chester West & Chester bid to the DCLG Transformation Challenge Award which was successful.
  • EIF have provided support to assign fiscal benefits to the outcomes of Integrated Early Support by looking at their performance reports and unit cost data which will help them in making the case for this work both locally and nationally.
  • This evaluation will report in spring 2016 and will provide an important contribution to the evidence base of, and provide important insights and transferable learning about ‘what works’ in terms of integrated systems and the potential impact of these.