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Pause Plymouth is a voluntary programme for women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeat removals of children from their care. Pause provides individual, bespoke and holistic support that aims to empower women to work towards their goals, developing strategies that can help meet the unique needs of each individual woman, motivating the woman and mobilising resources to help her tackle the root causes of destructive patterns, develop new skills and avoid further trauma including future care proceedings. Practitioners assist women in navigating the myriad of agencies and services available to them and help to create a space for them to reflect, learn and aspire; helping them to avoid or break this cycle.

SERIO, an applied research unit at the University of Plymouth, is conducting an evaluation of the Pause Plymouth Programme. This evaluation will gather findings and evidence of impact and allow us to better understand what works and what doesn’t.

To date, evaluation activities have centred on conducting qualitative interviews with Pause women in Community One, both at the start and towards the end of their engagement with Pause, as well as a focus group with the practitioners responsible for the programme delivery. As the evaluation progresses, this methodological approach will widen to include further interviews with practitioners, qualitative interviews with Community Two women, as well as taking on board the stakeholder voice.

This interim report provides findings from the Community One women.