NSPCC develops scale capacity and methodology in house

How a national agency is scaling its programs to ensure parents and children benefit from evidence


Pregnancy and the first months of a child’s life are crucial, laying the foundations for their entire future. Yet becoming a parent can be especially difficult for some because of their own circumstances and past experiences. That’s where Baby Steps comes in—a perinatal educational program designed to prepare people for what it means to care for their own child, not just for the birth itself. 


Having already established itself as a leading UK child abuse prevention charity, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) needed help to determine how to scale this robust, evidence-based program in order to help more vulnerable expectant parents across the UK.


We worked with NSPCC from 2014 to 2017 to complete an in-depth assessment of the program and explore potential replication options. Together we validated whether Baby Steps was ready and suitable for scaling, and explored how to scale in a way that protected the quality and integrity of the program. This resulted in a social licensing model, embedding local delivery into mainstream services to make it more sustainable in the future. 


Following our partnership, NSPCC developed a new national scale department within the NSPCC leadership team, preparing the organization to succeed in their scale endeavors over the long term. The team used the co-created materials to further refine the social licensing model to best fit the needs of NSPCC and vulnerable parents. After validating the Baby Steps program for scale with Spring Impact and refining the social licensing model, NSPCC was also well-positioned to take on a role of scaling its other programs.


Equipped with a dedicated department and refined licensing model for Baby Steps, NSPCC replicated the program to six further locations by 2018 and now has 11 licensees in nine locations across the UK. The NSPCC continues to evolve and build its model for scaling services and program and developing its expertise in implementation science methodology.  The NSPCC’s Development team is dedicated to partnering with local organizations, building on their experience with Baby Steps to replicate 7 different evidence based services to over 220 new locations.

Photo: NSPCC

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