A practical guide for services working with children and young people affected by sexual abuse

We recognise that services often lack the time or resources to develop or implement evaluation systems, so we have developed this accessible step-by-step guidance for CSA services on monitoring and evaluating their work.

This resource is for any CSA service looking to set up or improve its monitoring and evaluation system. Commissioners may also find this guide helpful in understanding more about how CSA services can develop the monitoring and evaluation of their work and how they can support this process.

The guide focuses on how to design and implement monitoring and evaluation within CSA services but also provides information on carrying out internal or external evaluation. The guide includes worksheets that enable users to develop their own monitoring and evaluation systems.

What does the guide cover?

  • Part 1 provides a brief overview of monitoring and evaluation and why it is important for CSA services and discusses some of the specific challenges faced by CSA services in monitoring and evaluating their work.
  • Part 2 discusses issues that are of particular importance for CSA services to consider in developing their monitoring and evaluation, such as how to take account of ethical issues that arise, obtain informed consent and take a trauma-informed approach.
  • Part 3 takes you through the stages of developing your monitoring and evaluation, from articulating your Theory of Change, documenting your approach, creating an evaluation plan, designing tools to collect information to thinking about how to report and share your findings.
  • Part 4 explains how to commission an external evaluation, including how to write a brief, select an evaluator and manage the evaluation

Download the screen friendly guide to measuring your effectiveness (PDF, 1.58 MB) 

Download the print friendly guide to measuring your effectiveness (PDF, 2.26 MB) 

Download the worksheets included in the guide (Word documents)


We want this guide to be as useful as possible to CSA services so we would like to gather your feedback on the guide and how you have used it.

Please enter your contact details in the box below so that we can get in touch later in the year to ask for your feedback and find out how it has shaped practice.

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The Evaluation Fund 

Between October 2017 and March 2018, we funded 17 providers of CSA services in England and Wales to improve their capacity to assess and evidence their services’ effectiveness as part of our Evaluation Fund. The Fund supported services to become evaluation-ready, to enable them to self-evaluate and produce stronger evidence on their way of working. Grantees have given examples of achievements they have made through the Fund. 

For many of our grantee organisations the first step to building evaluation capacity was to develop an effective Theory of Change specific to their work with children. This video presentation was developed to assist in this process.

More information about the fund and grantees 


The CSA Centre’s Evaluation Fund: a reflection

This report sets out the experiences of the service providers involved in the Evaluation Fund, and may prove valuable in the planning of any similar funding projects in the future. This report does not contain information about the evaluation tools developed through the Fund; this will be the subject of separate guidance to be published in 2019.

We believe that similar initiatives would offer a great opportunity for service providers to work towards addressing a gap in knowledge about what is effective when responding to CSA.

Reflection report in English (PDF, 1.79 MB) 

Reflection summary in Welsh (PDF, 1.65 MB)