For Baby’s Sake: Intervention Development and Evaluation Design of a Whole-Family Perinatal Intervention to Break the Cycle of Domestic Abuse
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. For Baby’s Sake is an innovative whole-family intervention that works with parents from pregnancy to two years postpartum to break cycles of domestic abuse and improve outcomes for children. The programme launched in 2015 across two community settings in England, with an independent evaluation led by King’s College London. This paper aims to (1) summarise the process of developing For Baby’s Sake and how it has been embedded within two different settings and (2) describe the evaluation design using early data to illustrate successes and challenges. The programme was developed following a review of the evidence and extensive stakeholder engagement. Three experts co-designed the content in partnership with the Stefanou Foundation and the programme delivery teams have been integrated into two local authorities. The evaluation uses mixed methods to assess abuse victimisation/perpetration, mental health, parenting and child outcomes, alongside service user experiences of early engagement. Forty individuals (27 women and 13 men) have been recruited to the evaluation. Early findings suggest that parents value the novel approach of For Baby’s Sake and their relationships with practitioners. Data on parents’ mental health and childhood adversities supports the decision to create a trauma-informed intervention. Interventions for domestic abuse are necessary to improve health and behaviour outcomes for families and prevent intergenerational transmission of abuse and developmental trauma. For Baby’s Sake addresses limitations of existing interventions, through its trauma-informed, attachment-based, whole-family approach. Early data from the evaluation suggests that the programme is reaching its intended audience and that service users appreciate the supportive approach.