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Evaluation project awarded to Loughborough’s Centre for Child and Family Research

Loughborough University’s Centre for Child and Family Research (CCFR) has been commissioned by leading disability charity, Scope to evaluate a pilot project which seeks to help the parents of disabled children work together to ensure that they have access to the services and support they need.

Earlier this year Scope launched two ‘Made to Measure’ pilot projects in Trafford, near Manchester and Plymouth.  In each area the parents of disabled children are being supported to ‘pool’ the personal budgets they are individually allocated by the Councils to jointly purchase services.  These services can range from a session at a club or sports centre or, if a child’s needs are more complicated, some short breaks (respite care).

The pilot projects are designed to encourage parent led commissioning, to plug gaps in service provision, improve the health and wellbeing of disabled children and the resilience of the whole family. 

The project has been funded by the Department for Education.

The CCFR work will evaluate the impact of the project.  They will explore its influence on the nature and availability of services for disabled children and their families in the two areas, and the extent to which the pilot enables families with disabled children to access the services they need.  Working alongside the CRSP team will be Alexa Hepburn, Reader in Conversational Analysis from the University’s Department of Social Sciences.

The evaluation builds on a number of studies carried out by CCFR on the costs and outcomes of short break services for disabled children and their families. The CCFR evaluation report is due for completion in the summer of 2014.

For more information on the Made to Measure pilot, go to

For more information about the evaluation or the short breaks programme of research at CCFR contact: Samantha McDermid, Senior Research Associate, CCFR,