DMSS Research undertakes research, evaluation,
policy analysis and training in the social care sector


Our experience of evaluating services and programmes ranges from stand-alone local projects to complex national initiatives. We've evaluated diverse programmes, from exploring the impact of the arts on urban regeneration to changing assessment practice in mental health services.

"We required a robust approach from evaluators who had a high degree of insight into the sector, an acute awareness of service user/survivor issues and could work sensitively with a wide range of personnel and give critical feedback to them in an unthreatening manner. I am pleased to report that DMSS met all our expectations and requirements in these regards, and also produced timely, well written reports."

Commissioner, Department of Health

"As a result of the impact study a number of other funders have now joined with us to look at funding more strategic work in this field"

Learning and Development Manager, Comic Relief

Free DMSS guide to project evaluation:

This guide was produced as part of a programme of evaluation and learning support we provided in 2016 to projects funded under the Big Lottery Fund's Women and Girls Initiative.

Some examples of our work:

Evaluation and Learning from the Lloyds Foundation Transform Programme

Evaluation and Learning from the Lloyds Foundation Transform programme, September 2019

DMSS were the learning and evaluation partner for the Transform programme to improve responses to domestic and sexual abuse. In 2017, the Foundation's Transform grants programme invested more than £1.6m between 17 projects to meet two primary objectives:

  • Inform and influence responses to domestic and/or sexual abuse
  • Strengthen the sectors, particularly the role of smaller specialist providers, in response to the challenges facing them in England and/or Wales

DMSS supported the projects to build their capacity to evaluate their impact and influence others, providing a series of workshops and resources as well as offering one to one support. We also undertook an overall evaluation of the programme to assess the difference this grant finding made and to share the learning from the programme.

You can read full and summary versions of our evaluation report here:

The full report is available here

The summary is available here

Child sexual exploitation – a preventative approach

Evaluation of Barnardo’s ReachOut Rotherham, March 2019

Barnardo's ReachOut project aimed to develop a preventive approach to sexual exploitation and we worked alongside them for 3 years as evaluation partner in collaboration with the University of Bedfordshire.

The full report is available here

Evaluation of the Full Effect Project in St Ann’s Nottingham

Evaluation of the Full Effect Project in Nottingham

Funded by The Royal Foundation this was an evaluation of a unique partnership between local schools and grassroots community organisations. Epic Partners and the Community ​Recording Studio (CRS) delivered Full Effect; a project to improve the opportunities for young people and reduce youth violence and gang involvement.

Reports available at these links:

St Christopher's
South Yorkshire
Wigan and Rochdale

Child Sexual Exploitation Innovations projects, March 2017

Four evaluations of projects funded under the Department of Education's Innovation Fund have been led by Sara Scott, working with the University of Bedfordshire and Natcen Social Research. Each project was piloting approaches to keep sexually exploited young people at home/near home/with better family support, avoid 'escalation' to secure/high cost residential care (or repeat use of such) and to achieve this through building strong, meaningful relationships with young people and provide continuity of care.

Evaluation of Barnardo’s Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying project in Yorkshire Report

Barnardo’s Positive Identities project in Yorkshire, June 2016

In April 2015 Barnardo's was awarded one year funding by the Government Equalities Office and Department for Education to help address homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying in schools. The project worked with two school clusters in Wakefield and Leeds. Our evaluation found that the whole school approach taken by the project had Increased staff awareness of LGBTQ issues, increased confidence in responding to the questions and concerns of students and in tackling HBT bullying; raised students’ awareness of the importance of respect and valuing diversity and increased support for students affected by LGBTQ issues.

Evaluation of Rape Crisis Scotland’s sexual violence prevention project

Rape Crisis Scotland’s sexual violence prevention project, April 2015

The Sexual Violence Prevention Project was run by Rape Crisis Scotland in partnership with 10 Rape Crisis Centres across Scotland. It worked with young people in schools and youth projects on issues relating to sexual violence, including consent, the law and the use of social media. Our evaluation of found that the delivery of workshops had a statistically significant impact on young people’s knowledge and attitudes.