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The BeST? Services Trial

BeST? is a randomised controlled trial comparing an infant mental health service (the New Orleans Intervention Model (NIM)) with Social Work Services -as-usual. It aims to find out what is the best service for young abused and neglected pre-school children coming into foster care. This is a two-site study between London and Glasgow which invited all families to take part if they had a child aged between 0 and 5 years when they entered an episode of foster care in participating boroughs in Glasgow or South London.

In South London, there are various Social Work Services for children coming in to foster care and these will be compared with the London Infant and Family Team (LIFT). In Glasgow, health and social work currently offer two new services for children who enter foster care. These are the Family Assessment and Contact Service (FACS) or the Glasgow Infant and Family Team (GIFT). The BeST? Services Research Trial team is trying to find out which service works best for children’s development.

Our London partners: East London Family Court, NSPCC, London Borough of Croydon, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, London Borough of Bromley, London Borough of Sutton, London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, London Borough of Newham.

Our Project Team

Chief Investigator: Professor Helen Minnis (University of Glasgow)
Principal Investigators: Dr Dennis Ougrin, Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke
Project Manager: Dr Udita Iyengar
Project Administrator: Juliana Lovato
Recruitment Coordinator: Anni Molloy


Funding is from NIHR, Chief Scientist’s Office, NSPCC. The Best Services Trial began with the London site commencing in 2017 and recruitment of families taking place from October 2017 until July 2021. The current stage is to collect follow up data for all families, and the trial will be completed in February 2024.

Project status: Ongoing
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Contact us

The BeST? Services Trial
King’s College London
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (PO85)
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN)
De Crespigny Park