An independent evaluation published today has found that the Pause Programme is effective in making a positive difference in women’s lives, improving their relationships with children, reducing rates of infant care entry in local areas and delivering cost savings for local areas.
The evaluation, which was a three-year research programme and interviewed 61 women, spoke to Pause Practices and local stakeholders and analysed Pause data, found that:
- The life satisfaction and wellbeing of women on Pause improved – moving from a very low level (in the bottom 5% of the UK population) towards population norms.
- Pause has a positive effect on quality of contact and relationships with existing children.
- Women on Pause experience reductions in frequency and number of A&E visits and increased access to other support services.
- The number of infants entering care is reduced by an average of 14.4 per year per local authority area that has a Pause. This is equivalent to 215 children over three years in five local areas.
- For every £1 spent on Pause, £4.50 is saved over four years, and £7.61 over 18 years.
The evaluation also identified the key ingredients in the Pause Programme which make the difference. They include:
- A holistic, trauma-informed, relationship-based approach
- Skilled Practitioners from a range of professional backgrounds
- Small caseloads enabling Practitioners to spend time with each woman
- Flexible financial resource for each woman
- Staffing continuity
- Flexibility and autonomy for Pause Practices
Jules Hillier, CEO of Pause, said:
“We are really proud of the findings of the evaluation that is published today. It confirms that women on the Pause Programme are making positive changes in their lives and that choosing to work with Pause is having an impact on their health and wellbeing as well as their relationships with their children. The evaluation confirmed that taking a trauma-informed, relationship-based approach to support women who have experienced the removal of their children is what works.
We are pleased to see the evaluation recommend that this type of support should be available to all women who experience the trauma of having children removed from their care. We want to see a society where no family has to experience the removal of their child into care more than once and high-quality post removal support is a vital element of achieving this. We look forward to working with local areas and organisations across the country to ensure women get that support – be it from Pause or another programme – that really makes a difference to their lives.
The evaluation has also given us some things to reflect and learn from and we are doing that with the whole Pause network and women we work with. We want to thank Professor Janet Boddy and her team and all the Pause Practices and women who gave up their time to be part of the evaluation.”
If you would like any more information or have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The University of Sussex evaluation of the Pause Programme can be found online here.
 The evaluation was funded by the Department for Education and carried out by the University of Sussex in partnership with Research in Practice and Ipsos Mori.