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The role of Action for Children Children's Centres in the local service system for children and their families


Action for Children commissioned a study of whether its Sure Start Children’s Centres (SSCC) have positive outcomes for vulnerable children. The study focuses on: 1) coordination between different agencies and outcomes for vulnerable children; 2) the work of the outreach services and the evidence behind the required skills sets; 3) what the centre’s family support services achieve; and 4) how good the Centres are at achieving health outcomes.


2010 - 2011 

Research team

Jane Tunstill, James Blewett, Shereen Hussein and Jill Manthorpe (SCWRU)
Sarah Cowley (Health Policy and Management, King’s College London)


Action for Children


The project includes quantitative and qualitative methods, using data drawn from 10 children’s centres located across England.


The Interim Report concluded that it is possible to identify a fit between services that meet the needs of children and their families, and services whose delivery can potentially be seen to reflect ‘value for money’.


Final report

Blewett, J., Tunstill, J., Hussein, S., Manthorpe, J. & Cowley, S., (2011), ‘Children’s Centres in 2011. Improving outcomes for the children who use Action for Children Children’s Centres’ [pdf, 2.88 MB], Watford: Action for Children.

Interim report

Blewett, J., Cowley, S., Hussein, S., Manthorpe, J. & Tunstill, J., (2010), 'The Role of Action for Children's Centres in the Local Service System for Children and their Families. Interim Report' [pdf, 417 KB], London: Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King's College London. See also: Briefing (pdf, 48 KB)


13 July 2011 Janaki Mahadevan in Children & Young People Now
13 July 2011 Clare Horton in The Guardian


The project will inform how Action for Children develops its Sure Start Children’s Centres and will be of wider interest to all those involved in the commissioning and delivery of community based services for children and their families.
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