The Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU) and the Child Outcomes Research Consortium are commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) to evaluate the implementation and impact of a new Framework of Integrated Care called SECURE STAIRS. The aim of this is to better understand how some of the most vulnerable young people can be effectively supported to have improved wellbeing and life chances.

SECURE STAIRS is being implemented across the Children and Young People’s Secure Estate (CYPSE) in Under-18 Young Offender Institutions (YOIs), Secure Training Centres (STC) and Secure Children’s Homes (SCH). Eighteen sites in England are included in the National Evaluation. SECURE STAIRS provides a framework for a new way of working in the CYPSE that involves training staff to provide more developmentally-attuned, psychologically informed care which is centred around comprehensive, co-produced assessments of young people’s needs to ensure that all needs are identified.

EBPU researchers are conducting a mixed-methods evaluation to explore the implementation and impact of SECURE STAIRS and whether it results in sustained cultural changes. Sites are collecting routine service activity data and staff, children and young people and their parents/carers are completing questionnaires. A smaller number of interviews and focus groups are being conducted with staff and young people, and observations of staff meetings are also being carried out. An economic evaluation is additionally taking place.

Data collection is taking place between August 2018 and December 2020. Findings will be submitted to NHS England and NHS Improvement to inform policy and practice.