Resource Guide

In March 2012, the five AHH projects funded by Comic Relief were asked to share practical examples of their work with children and families. This Resource Guide is the result of those contributions. It is included within this toolkit for the benefit of practitioners and volunteers who would like to be able to access these ideas and activities. You can download, store and print the Guide by clicking on the PDF logo.

The Resource Guide was compiled by Wendy Robinson.



Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service


A Classification Of Regional Neighbourhoods


Alcohol Hidden Harm


Agencies, organisations or representatives


Demonstrating your responsibility for an action or role.

Action learning

Action learning is a process which involves working on real challenges, from practice, using the knowledge and skills of a small group of people combined with skilled questioning, to re-interpret old and familiar concepts and produce fresh ideas.

Action learning sets

An action learning set is a group of people who meet regularly with an action learning facilitator. Most learning sets are made up of people who work at similar levels of responsibility. This is key form of learning for leaders of organisations.


The provision of representation or similar support to enable a person to express a viewpoint or position, often in a formal context such as Court or Tribunal, but also in services such as schools or mental health.

Alcohol Hidden Harm

Parental problem alcohol use and its actual and potential effects on children (Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs, 2003).

Alcohol misuse

Alcohol misuse means drinking excessively - more than the recommended limits of alcohol consumption. This can lead to a number of harmful physical and psychological effects, such as alcohol poisoning, cirrhosis of the liver, inability to work and socialise and destructive behaviours, such as drink-driving and domestic violence.


British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy


British Association of Psychotherapy


A factor that affects an outcome in a particular direction, to the detriment of a balanced view or outcome.


Common Assessment Framework


Community Voluntary Service


The ability to perform a particular skill or task, or achieve a goal or aim.


A person who looks after another person, whether adult or child. Often included in the phrase ‘parents and carers’. A carer may be unpaid or reimbursed for their time with allowances, such as fostering allowance.


A not-for-profit body or organisation established with specific objectives for the good of people or society, and registered with the Charities Commission.


A person who presents to or uses services (such as AHH services) provided by a service provider. Also known as a service user.

Clinical supervision

A formal process of professional support and learning which enables individual practitioners to develop knowledge and competence, assume responsibility for their own practice and enhance consumer protection and safety of care in complex clinical situations (DH, 1993) A system whereby clinicians, therapists and social workers discuss their work with professional peers, who offer support, guidance and advice, and who act as a sounding board.


People or a body which specifies and procures services: Could include funders with a particular service in mind or with the aim of encouraging innovation in a field of work.

Common Assessment Framework

The CAF is a four-step process whereby practitioners can identify a child's or young person's needs early, assess those needs holistically, deliver coordinated services and review progress. Now superseded in some areas and settings. See for further details.


Refers to any common feature shared by a group of people. Communities can be geographically defined but can also be defined by religion, race or behaviour. A geographical community may coexist with other more specifically defined communities and can include those who need but may not be able easily to access a service.

Community voluntary services

Services set up to meet the needs of specific communities, run by or mainly with the support of volunteers.

Comparative needs

What professionals believe clients need based on their understanding of social and other forms of inequality For example, children of parents who misuse alcohol may need more support to access out of school activities.

Comparison group

In experimental evaluation designs the comparison group comprises all those who share similar characteristics to those receiving the intervention and who are exposed to the same conditions as the experimental group, except for the variable being tested. See also Control group.


Information shared with another will not be disclosed to a third party. Medical information is usually confidential between the patient and the medical staff. In some circumstances confidentiality should not be promised e.g. where children may be at risk of harm.

Control group

In an experimental study the control group is the group of participants that are not exposed to experimental manipulation. A control group is chosen at random from the total population who could be selected, whereas a comparison group is chosen for another, usually pragmatic, reason e.g. being on a waiting list for the same service. See also Comparison group.


Professional support and guidance for resolving personal or psychological problems. Various forms of counselling exist including client centred and psychotherapy.

Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks

See Disclosure and Barring Service checks.


Drug and Alcohol National Occupational Standards


Drug and Alcohol National Occupational Standards specify the standards of performance that staff in the drug and alcohol field should be working towards. DANOS describe the knowledge and skills workers need in order to perform to the standard required by each unit.

Data protection

A series of legal duties and obligations arsing from the data protection Act relating to issues of privacy, confidentiality and disclosure, affecting how people and organisations store, handle and communicate data. See for a guide to data protection from the Information commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

A process of checking whether an individual has a criminal record or, in enhanced version, any sort of contact with the police or criminal justice system (arrest, police caution etc.). DBS checks are required for anyone who, in the course of their employment, contractor or volunteer role, Is likely to come into contact with children or vulnerable adults, and in certain other circumstances. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act do not apply in these circumstances. For full information about DBS checks, and the process involved, see


A drug is a substance which alters the way someone thinks, feels or behaves. This broad definition includes substances as different as caffeine, nicotine, steroids and paracetamol as well as heroin and ketamine. Within Drug Services the term ‘drugs’ tends to refer to illegal drugs and/or alcohol.


Economic and Social Research Council


Information which describes the network of partnerships in which an agency or service is operating.


A depiction is ecodata in diagrammatic form, demonstrating the interrelationships between a service or agency and its partners.


Evidence of ongoing involvement or interest of an individual with a service.


Describes the worth or value of something. Value can be objective as well as subjective. In either case it is the rigorous and systematic collection and analysis of data which distinguishes evaluation from anecdote.

Evaluation design

Evaluation design is the type and structure of an evaluation. It does not refer to the data collection methods used.

Ex-ante evaluation

Ex-ante evaluation is a form of needs assessment or feasibility study which considers the potential effects, and risks, of a proposed intervention. It is carried out during the planning stage of an intervention, to identify the baseline and inform the development.

Ex-post ante

An evaluation where participants are asked to think back to how things were before the intervention, and how they are now.

Ex-post evaluation

An evaluation that is conducted after the intervention has been delivered.

Experian measure of resilience

In this case resilience is used to describe the ability of an area to withstand and respond to shocks in the external environment. Experian's research looks at resilience across four key themes: Business, Community, People and Place. Further variables are considered under each key theme. See
for further information.

Expressed needs

What clients request or demand, usually unprompted. For example a parent may ask for help for their child to learn to manage their behaviour.


All those people related in some way to the focal client, whether by birth or not e.g. foster family, step siblings.

Family outcomes

Outcomes which apply to family members.

Felt needs

What clients say they need, especially when they have had an opportunity to reflect on their situation and consider the options For example a parent who sought support for their child to manage his or her behaviour may ask to attend a parenting group. See also Normative needs.

Focus group

A group of people brought together to explore or test ideas and express opinions on a given project, product or other matter. Typically focus group participants share a particular interest or expertise in the subject e.g. they may all be parents, or practitioners.

Formative evaluation

A formative evaluation is conducted during the development of an intervention so that results can be used, in real-time, to improve the design and/or delivery of the intervention.

Functioning families

There are several characteristics that are generally identified with a well-functioning family. These include the demonstration of support; love and caring for other family members; providing security and a sense of belonging; open communication; making each person within the family feel important, valued and respected It also includes establishing and maintaining routines, resolving disputes, participating in community life and taking moral and social responsibility for actions. adapted from from


The oversight of the way an organisation uses its power and resources for the benefit of its clients and staff.


Any outcome which is detrimental to the health, safety, autonomy or wellbeing of the individual.

Health and Wellbeing Boards

Statutory bodies introduced in England under the Health and Social Care Act 2012. According to the Act, each upper-tier local authority in England is required to form a health and wellbeing board as a committee of that authority. The aim of the health and wellbeing boards is to improve integration between practitioners in local health care, social care, public health and related public services so that patients and other service-users experience more "joined up" care, particularly in transitions between health care and social care. The boards are also responsible for leading locally on reducing health inequalities.

Hidden harm

Parental problem substance use and its actual and potential effects on children (Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs, 2003). This definition can be applied to the misuse of alcohol.

Illegal drugs

Substances, including drugs, defined by the Misuse of drugs Act 1971. Illegal drugs are classified as class A, B or C according to perceived risk, and this determines the seriousness of offences and penalties under the Act.

Immediate danger

If at any time during the assessment or child protection process it becomes apparent that the child is in immediate danger, agencies can take steps to secure the safety of the child.

Immediate risk of harm

Harm is defined under section 31(9) of the Children Act 1989 as "ill treatment or the impairment of health or development". Section 120 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 added to this definition: "… including for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another". To decide whether harm is significant, the health and development of the child is "compared with that which could reasonably be expected of a similar child" (section 31(10) of the Children Act 1989).If it is decided that the child has suffered or is at risk of significant harm and is in need of protection, children's services will make further investigations or take any necessary immediate action. See

Indices of deprivation

Deprivation indices are a measure of the level of deprivation in an area. Sometimes more than one measure is combined to contribute to a needs assessment for services in any given area.

Input – output model

One way of planning out your project is to use the inputs / outputs model, thinking about what inputs you need to deliver the activities and what outputs will help you achieve your outcomes. Inputs are the resources you need to deliver the activities e.g. money, skilled workers and time. The activities might be running play therapy sessions, with the output being that a certain number of families have accessed play therapy, in order to achieve the desired outcomes e.g. better communication.


Action taken to achieve an outcome.

Investing in Volunteers

The UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management. See

Investors in People

An organisation providing the UK quality standard for realising the potential of people in the workplace

Local Area Alcohol Profiles

A series of profiles compiled by public health England for each local authority area, which illustrate the effect of a number of alcohol-related factors, such as mortality, chronic liver disease etc. on the local population. See

Local Safeguarding Children Boards

These bodies were established by the Children act 2004 to provide a mechanism for local organisations to come together to agree how they will work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. See

Logic model

A logic model sets out what you plan to do and how you will know if you are achieving your aims and objectives. It is both a planning tool and the starting point for evaluation design. See


Moving Parents and Children Together


Motivational interviewing


An informal adviser and critical friend. In a professional / workplace setting, the aim is improved performance and achievement by sharing knowledge and experience. In a drug and alcohol service it can be a way of supporting clients through a difficult stage of recovery or support for a young person experiencing the effects of a parents’ alcohol or drug misuse. In these examples mentors are often volunteers with specific training and experience to offer.

Mission statement

A statement encapsulating the defined aims and purposes of an organisation, project or other enterprise.

Motivational interviewing

A collaborative, person-centred form of guiding technique to elicit and strengthen motivation for change, especially in relation to problematic behaviour. A central concept of MI is identification, examination and resolution of ambivalence about changing behaviour


National Council for Voluntary Organisations


National Health Service


National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children


National Treatment Agency

National Occupational Standards


Needs assessment

The systematic collection and analysis of data to determine if a community or client group needs a service or intervention. It is the first step in planning the commissioning or delivery of any service and can include published data, professional opinion and consultation with potential clients or their carers.


Establishing, relating to, or deriving from a standard or norm, especially of behaviour. Normative forms of education emphasise positive social norms e.g. that most young people do not use illegal drugs and avoid normalising highly visible but infrequent behaviours such as smoking and underage drinking

Normative needs

What professionals believe clients need, based on the available data without direct reference to the clients themselves.

Onward referral

Referral of a client on to another service.


Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations, a quality assurance evaluation service involving assessment across twelve quality areas. See for more information.


Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations

Post only

After only.


A person who undertakes work as a social worker, therapist etc on a professional basis.

Pre and post

Before and after.


A formal expression of conditions or setting.

Quasi experiment

A quasi-experimental evaluation design has some of the characteristics of a true experiment, such as allocating participants to a group receiving the intervention or to a group not receiving the intervention. A quasi-experiment though lacks randomisation in the way that participants are allocated to their groups. This lack of randomisation is the difference between a quasi- and a true experiment.

Randomised control trial

A randomised controlled trial is an experimental design. Individual participants are randomly allocated to their groups (intervention or control) so that both groups are representative of the target population. The traditional experimental design is a pre and post test with control group, although it can also be post-test only with a control group.


Mutually beneficial.


Characteristic of a person who can cope with adversity. Resilience is an important protective factor in the lives of young people whose development is not harmed by difficult circumstances in childhood, such as chronic illness, family breakdown, parental substance misuse or bereavement. Resilience has several definitions, perhaps best summarised as resilience is a universal capacity which allows a person, group or community to prevent, minimize or overcome the damaging effects of adversity . Resilience, research suggests, is not a personality trait but is a process. This suggests that resilience is amenable to change, and can be developed and strengthened over time, if appropriate support and guidance is available.


Social Care: Institute for Excellence

SMART [objectives]

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound


Service Provider Checklist

Service capacity

The ability to deliver an effective service which meets the needs of the clients.

Strengthening Families

A parenting and family strengthening programme for high-risk and other families, with a focus on reducing problematic behaviour, delinquency and alcohol and drug abuse. See

Substance misuse

A pattern of harmful use of illegal and illicit drugs, alcohol, volatile substances and other substances including prescription drugs which causes damage to health or social functioning. Examples of this may include dependency, mental health impairment, immediate risk of death or injury, persistent offending or persistent truanting related to substance misuse. See

Summative (assessment or evaluation)

In Evaluation this refers to the measurement of effectiveness of the intervention, where the focus is on the intended outcome and whether or not it has been achieved. In education interventions, summative assessment is assessment of learning, whereas formative assessment is assessment for learning.


See clinical supervision.


A measure of the extent to which a service can continue to be provided on an on-going basis, if current resource factors etc. remain stable.


The use of more than source of information or more than one method of enquiry to explore the same phenomenon. For example, clients, staff and key stakeholders may contribute to an assessment of the value of a service. Data can be in qualitative or quantitative formats.

Universal provider

An agency which provides a service available to and used by all such as the NHS.

Universal service

A service available to all, such as. schools, children’s centres or the NHS.


A person who works in whatever capacity or setting without payment, and who therefore is not an employee or contractor.

Whole family therapeutic approach

An approach to recovery which involves all the family members including children and those adults not misusing substances but in a caring role. It may involve family therapy or different forms of therapy for different individuals based on an assessment of their needs.