The Addressing Neglect and Enhancing Wellbeing (ANEW) programme

All children have the right to have their needs met. These include having loving, supportive relationships at home, enough food to eat, clean, proper clothing, shelter, support for learning, healthy growth and development, positive self-esteem, or healthcare. When a child’s emotional, physical and/or psychological needs are persistently not met, for whatever reason, it is well recognised that all areas of their health, development and growth can be seriously impacted. Children and young people can experience long-term effects on their wellbeing and ability to thrive that last long into adulthood. Over time, without effective early intervention, there can also be a greater demand on crisis-response and specialist services, meaning children and families don’t always have access to the support they need, when they need it.

In Scotland, it is recognised that there is more that must be done to reduce children and young people’s experience of neglect and its significant long-term effects. The Addressing Wellbeing and Enhancing Neglect (ANEW) programme was born out of a need to address these concerns.

About the ANEW programme

Existing evidence prior to the launch of the ANEW programme, including the findings of the Christie Commission in 2011, the Brock Report in 2014, the work of Professor Brigid Daniels in 2015 and The Child Protection Systems Review in 2017, highlighted the need to minimise the barriers to effective early intervention and focus on the needs of children and families in need of support, who may be known to services but who are falling just below the thresholds for formal measures to be taken.

The Scottish Government commissioned CELCIS to develop a programme to be delivered in partnership with local authority areas with the aim of strengthening a preventative approach in responding to child neglect and wellbeing concerns. CELCIS identified Active Implementation as the approach that would best suit this complex change programme and help bridge the gap between research and practice and the ambitions of policy and outcomes on the ground.

Active Implementation helps us to focus on the people at the heart of any change programme and encourages us to ask the question: Who needs to be doing what differently to achieve better outcomes for children and families?

Such questions help us to focus on different roles and functions across leadership, the workforce and community and to consider what supports are needed for individuals and teams to practice to the highest standard.

The ANEW programme launched in 2017, funded by Scottish Government as part of the Child Protection Improvement Programme. It worked alongside three local authority partner areas (Dundee, Inverclyde and Perth and Kinross), to develop a rights-based approach that was rooted in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which identified the strengths and challenges across the whole system and supported the development of a more effective approach to address neglect, enhance the wellbeing of children in need of care and protection, and support families. CELCIS’s involvement in the programme concluded in early 2023.

The objectives of the ANEW programme

Working alongside multiple partners, the aims of the ANEW programme were to:

  • Develop a strategic approach to intervene earlier, and more effectively, with children experiencing neglect based on sound evidence
  • Develop the whole-systems approach necessary to sustain change efforts
  • Promote a deeper understanding of the current system of supports within a local area for families of children experiencing neglect
  • Develop additional capacity among the local workforce to support complex change and continuous improvement, for this programme and beyond.

Collaboration and partnership

At the heart of the ANEW programme was the objective to implement change and improvement based on the best available evidence of what works. To this end, collaboration was vital. CELCIS and our local authority partner areas worked alongside children, young people, families, professionals, and communities to utilise locally based ideas and solutions. Multiple partners, including nurseries, schools and health professionals participated in the programme, which contributed to real and sustainable improved outcomes for children and families.

Outcomes of the ANEW programme

More information on the outcomes of the ANEW programme will be available soon.

Looking for more information?

Our FAQ document contains further details of the Addressing Neglect and Enhancing Wellbeing Programme:

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