Current and Past Projects

Current Projects

Equally Safe Quality Standards and Performance Framework

The Improvement Service has worked in partnership with the Scottish Government, COSLA and the National VAW Network to develop a set of quality standards and performance indicators for local Violence Against Women Partnerships. They can be used to measure, demonstrate and improve the activities they are undertaking at a local level to address violence against women and girls and the impact this work is having.

The Equally Safe Quality Standards and Performance Framework were published in 2018 and refreshed in 2019.

Download the current Equally Safe Quality Standards and Performance Framework

VAW Partnership Self-Assessment

The Improvement Service has worked with the National VAW Network and other stakeholders to develop a VAW Partnership Checklist, based on research, evidence and good practice on effective, outcome-focussed partnership working.

As part of our current funding from the Scottish Government, we are able to support VAW Partnerships to undertake self-assessments of their partnerships using this Checklist and to develop an improvement plan, based on the strengths and weaknesses identified by the members of the Partnership.

Understanding the Mental Health Needs of Women and Girls experiencing Gender-Based Violence

Emerging evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions put in place to address it, has triggered a steep decline in women and girls’ mental health and wellbeing and increased levels of trauma.

This research project, coordinated by the Improvement Service, aims to ensure that the Scottish Government and other key partners have a robust understanding of

  • the mental health and wellbeing needs of women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence,
  • how these needs, and the systems and services in place to address them, have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • tangible actions that can be progressed by the Scottish Government and/or local authorities to ensure that women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence receive the appropriate mental health and wellbeing support they need, at the time they need it, as we move towards COVID-19 recovery and renewal.

More information about the mental health and gender-based violence project.

If you would be interested in being involved in any of these projects, please contact

Past Projects

National Cedar Network

Cedar (Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery) is currently the only evidence-based, domestic abuse recovery programme operating in Scotland that takes a collaborative, strengths-based approach to working with children and young people, and their mothers. The model has a strong track record of improving outcomes for children and young people affected by domestic abuse and has proven highly effective at supporting families that other services struggle to engage with. For more information about Cedar, please visit the Cedar website.

From 2017-2020, the Improvement Service coordinated the National Cedar Network, which brings together representatives from Cedar groups across Scotland to share information, learning and resources. We provided strategic support to individual Cedar groups to assist them to become more integrated and sustainable at local level, and helped them to better measure and demonstrate their impact and deliver improved outcomes for children and young people affected by domestic abuse. We will continue to share learning and good practice around domestic abuse, children and young people and recovery throughout our current projects.

In 2019, we hosted a conference to highlight the impact of domestic abuse on children and young people and the impact of early intervention recovery support, such as Cedar, on improving outcomes for children and young people affected by domestic abuse. The conference report can be found here.

The Cedar Network’s KHub group is for professionals working with local Cedar groups. It is also a forum for open and safe discussion, where Cedar practitioners can discuss good practice and challenges in delivering domestic abuse recovery work. Visit the National Cedar Network KHub Group.

Joanna McLaughlin - National Violence Against Women Co-ordinator
Samantha Keogh - Project Officer, Violence Against Women