Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit: Superu (Legally known as the Families Commission)

We are the Families Commission and operate as Superu (the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit), an autonomous Crown entity governed by the Crown Entities Act 2004. We provide an independent perspective with regard to Government policy.

We were established by the Families Commission Act 2003 (amended 2013) to act as an advocate for the interests of families generally, and now also have responsibility to monitor and evaluate programmes and interventions in the social sector and to provide social science research into key issues.

40 results found

Research projects

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6 Jun 2014
In mid-2013 the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (SuPERU) within the Families Commission commenced an assessment of the Children’s Team’s model. The Children’s Teams are a key component of the Government’s multi-year Children’s Action Plan (CAP). This report provides an assessment of the design and implementation of the Children’s Teams model. The report addresses the overarching...
Sep 2015
This At a Glance highlights findings from the Growing Up in New Zealand publication Vulnerability Report 2: Transitions in exposure to vulnerability in the first 1000 days of life. The report focuses on children’s exposure to vulnerability in early life and factors associated with transitions into and out of vulnerability. It also explores how the timing and duration of children’s exposure to...
Dec 2015
Community-level initiatives have been widely implemented in New Zealand and overseas. However, there is a lack of robust quantitative evidence on whether community-level initiatives are effective in achieving their outcomes. The purpose of the research was to draw together existing evidence to provide insights about what works and how government can best support communities. The report...
14 Apr 2014
This report reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of parenting programmes, as a way of reducing the risk of maltreatment of vulnerable children aged 0-6 years. We looked at both national and international evidence to identify parenting programmes that work and those that do not work, including for Māori and Pacific peoples. The urgent need to address New Zealand’s high rate of child...
30 Mar 2015
 Many parenting programmes are effective and support family wellbeing by improving parenting practices and thereby reducing the risks associated with child maltreatment. The review found: There are many effective parenting programmes and these share common characteristics. Evidence on the effectiveness of parenting programmes in New Zealand, including what works with Maori and...
25 Nov 2013
International evidence reviews have indicated that school-based relationship violence prevention programmes are one of the few strategies with proven evidence for preventing intimate partner violence. The Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (SuPERU) within the Families Commission commissioned a rapid review of the evidence and relevant literature on ‘what works’ in school-based...
4 May 2017
This case study explains the process evaluation undertaken with Pillars in Christchurch on their mentoring programme for children with a caregiver in prison. The purpose was to assess how well the programme worked for its clients (ie efficiency).
4 May 2017
This case study details the outcomes evaluation undertaken with Barnardos in Whangarei on its in-home parenting programme. The evaluation focused on how well the programme met its objectives in changing clients’ lives for the better (ie effectiveness).
May 2015
Superu has worked in partnership with the Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA) to develop a set of Aotearoa-specific evaluation standards that set out the expectations of the evaluation process, practices and products. The standards provide guidance on what should occur at all stages of a quality evaluation. The establishment of the standards is expected to help promote good...
9 Jul 2015
The Families and Whānau Status Report is a series that aims to enrich our understanding of family and whānau wellbeing. Measuring family wellbeing is complicated, not just because there is no universally agreed definition of what we mean by family or wellbeing, but also because multiple and inter-related factors impact on the daily activities, functions and living arrangements of families. The...

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