Do integrated children’s services improve children’s outcomes?: Evidence from England’s children’s trust pathfinders

Margaret O'Brien, Max O. Bachmann, Natalia R. Jones, Richard Reading, June Thoburn, Chris Husbands, Ann Shreeve, Jacqueline Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Thirty-five children’s trust pathfinders, local cross-sector partnerships, were introduced across England in 2003 to promote greater integration in children’s services. Using administrative performance data, this paper tracks yearly trends in child service outputs and child well-being outcomes from 1997 to 2004 in these local areas, including the period before their introduction. Professional perceptions of change in child outcomes are also presented. Time series regression analysis shows there was a general improvement in England in these selected performance indicators prior to the introduction of children’s trusts pathfinders. Children’s trust pathfinder areas initially focusing on ‘all children’ in their local area, rather than selected groups of children, showed the most progress. There was no consistent quantitative evidence for better outcomes in more integrated areas, however, 25 of the 35 survey respondents provided locally specific examples of children’s trust pathfinder arrangements improving outcomes for children and young people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-335
Number of pages16
JournalChildren & Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009

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