About This Project

Assessing the impact of a family innovation fund / Essex County Council


Essex County Council launched a ‘Family Innovation Fund’ Early Help programme to help families in volatile situations build resilience, and reduce their reliance on statutory support in the future. The programme was implemented by six different partners across the region, each offering their own intervention service. As such, the client asked us to find out: what impact, if any, have these interventions had? And where could they be improved?


We visited families who were recipients of different forms of intervention, each with their own story to tell. The video above follows 12-year-old Lewis, who had been experiencing extreme behaviour at home. We looked at the context leading up to referral, the experience of support, and the overall impact. Our ethnographic case studies appeared in, and complemented, an interactive evaluation report, written by Traverse (formerly OPM), and designed by Close-Up.


“I would thoroughly recommend Close-Up Research, and would not hesitate to use you again. You quickly developed a sound understanding of the programme, and put the families at ease. Our end-client was extremely happy with the end results, emailing to say: ‘What a wonderful way to see the impact of programmes we’re trying to understand. Really highlights the importance of understanding the changes for the whole family – not just the child receiving the intervention and the parent(s) – but the siblings and others who might live at home. If ever there was evidence of holistic interventions – really great.’”

– Senior Consultant, Insight & Innovation at Traverse (commissioned the work on behalf of Essex County Council)

For more examples of our work with young people, click here.

Case Studies