Evaluating a new model of tackling child sexual exploitation across England


The Evaluation

Last updated: Tue 04, 2016

The Alexi Project evaluation will provide the largest data-set yet on how services from different organisations/locations are tackling CSE.

The evaluation is assessing the impact of the Hub and Spoke model in three areas: 

  1. Safeguarding young people from sexual exploitation through service delivery
  2. Supporting and equipping specialist CSE workers to work effectively in host agencies
  3. Promoting stable CSE policy frameworks in new areas by raising awareness of CSE

The research team are applying a 'realist evaluation' approach, which means we are not just trying to understand whether the model 'works', but how and why it works that way (Pawson and Tilley, 1997). The funders have identified Hub services that have different approaches, cover diverse geographical areas and serve different kinds of populations. By designing in this diversity the evaluation team can learn from the different ways the Hub and Spoke model is being developed, and draw out lessons for a variety of contexts.

Realist evaluations begin by generating theories about how a program is meant to trigger positive change. So the work began by commissioning a review from 'Social Care Research' of what current evidence tells us about Hub and Spoke models of service delivery more generally (see below). This information, together with interviews with Hub and Spoke workers/managers, helped the team to develop a set of theories about how the model works in different contexts. These theories are now being tested against data collected from all 16 services in year three of the evaluation. 

The evaluation team are collecting large amounts of both qualitative and quantitative data from Hub and Spoke services, as well as other local stakeholders. The research design is longitudinal, and  the team visit each service at least twice.

For more information on the methodology of the evaluation please look at our interim report below

You can also view our recent presentation 'Overcoming the challenges of evaluating services that support young people affected by sexual exploitation: A realist approach' from the Children and Young People Now 'Achieving Outcomes' conference on 20th Jan 2016. 

Social Care Research Report: Effective Approaches to Hub and Spoke Service Provision


Year 2 Evaluation Interim Report Executive Summary


Overcoming the challenges of evaluating services that support young people affected by sexual exploitation: A realist approach - Power point slides

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