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


DMSS work collaboratively with clients to ensure that the research we undertake is useful and timely as well as rigorous. We have particular expertise in researching sensitive issues and seldom heard populations.

"Our project had a wide variety of participants. From young people at school to head teachers – but all the interviews and focus groups conducted by DMSS were highly accessible and really got to the heart of the matter."

Susie MacDonald, Chief Executive, Tender

Examples of our Research:

Read the Effectiveness of services for sexually abused children and young people review

Effectiveness of services for sexually abused children and young people: A knowledge review

Di McNeish, Liz Kelly and Sara Scott, October 2019

The knowledge review was undertaken by DMSS Research in partnership with the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University, between July and December 2018. It involved four phases of work:

  • a rapid review of the literature, to highlight what published evidence does and does not tell us about service provision, and to establish what evaluations had already been conducted
  • 'key informant' interviews with 13 individuals identified for their practice and research experience and expertise
  • three focus groups bringing together practitioners, policymakers and commissioners
  • site visits to 12 CSA services across England and Wales, incorporating interviews with managers, staff and young people who used the services.

Drawing on this work, the report outlines the current landscape of service provision, identifies core elements of effective practice in the field, and outlines the implications for the feasibility of multi-service evaluation.

Building Bridges to a Good Life

Building Bridges to a Good Life

A review of asset based, person centred approaches and people with learning disabilities in Scotland. This report explores the potential to join up thinking around increased choice and control for people with learning disabilities and the principles of asset based working. Scottish Commission for Learning Disability, December 2016.

Joining the Dots

Joining the Dots

Analysing data from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, this report explores the combined impact of violence, abuse and poverty in the lives of women. Produced for Agenda: the alliance for women and girls at risk and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, September 2016.

Women and Girls at Risk

Women and girls at risk – evidence across the life course

Gender matters in the lives of women and girls at risk. This review considers how three sets of gendered factors– social inequalities, the impact of negative life experiences (in particular, violence and abuse) and gender expectations – shape risks across the life course of women.

Lankelly Chase Foundation, August 2014.