York Consulting's Findings from the Innovation Fund Evaluation


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York Consulting was commissioned by Carers Trust to evaluate the Innovation Fund, a fund aimed at developing the capacity of the voluntary sector to develop a whole family approach to supporting families with young carers. These slides are taken from York Consulting's presentation of the findings at the Carers Trust's Young Carers Workers' Conference 2012

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  • YCL: specialise in evaluating programmes supporting C,YP & familiesIF: Supporting young carer projects develop whole family approaches
  • Focus of presentation is on types of support developed. Lots of GP & want to share.Focus on IF but draw on wider Spoken to 74 LAs
  • Policy focus on family work (Young Carers Strategy): Aim is that by supporting whole family, can help address underlying cause of caring role, & so reduce caring responsibilities.Work already going on (eg. 18 Las funded under young carer PFs). Aim was to provide VCS with similar opp to adapt with current policy.Funding lasted 12 months
  • Free to design own support model for families, and wide array of approaches developed.Categorised into 5.
  • Intensive support to small (15 – 20) families over 12 monthsFSW = Individual Key contact for familySpend time, build up trust & develop understanding of family & needsProvided direct one-to-one support (emotional & practical)Draw in other support through referringAct as advocate for family, sit in on assessments, multi-agency meetings, ensure receive correct entitlements decisions etc. Ensure don’t get “lost” in the system & that everyone considering need of young carerWhole family assessments:Used CAF system but wider/adapted CAF.Developed own assessmentsTAF:Used CAFOrganised their ownUnderstanding: - Trust means disclose new things & identifies unmet need - Everyone together brings all pieces of jigsaw togetherSupport:- Housing bands increase (Winchester) - Social care bring in personal assistants (York) - Translation services (Barnet)Family engagement – from trust & understanding Eg. Mother not engage with services – no trust. FSW spend time explaining it – re-engage.
  • Widely used in statutory services, but for no. of years young carer services using it to support young carer families.Benefits – think of creative solutions agencies wouldn’t haveCaring role – eg. isolated family, mum HIV hid it, managed to get grandma & 2 uncles from London. Stayed for a while, grandma helped.Gives young carer voice – talk a lot about importance of young carer’s views & their knowledge of cared for & gets overlooked by agencies.Understanding – opens up conversations not had before
  • Families come together talk about issues facing.Communication – young carer understand condition, cared for understand impact on young carer. Frustration before – more empathy.Pass the parcel – facts about mental health – say whether true/falseBrains – pumpkin for head, cauliflower for brain, lots of ketchup for bloodTreasure hunt – find the mental health conditionSuperhero – talk about resilience of caring role
  • Organised for whole groups or targeted at those struggle to leave houseRels – reduced to care/cared for – opp to be mum & child againSupport for mental health – eg. parent w mild agorophobia support getting to park – plan bus journey; walk to bus stop; get on bus
  • Challenges - Meant some worked with few families - Some made few inroads with families - One project didn’t get off ground & ended earlyApprop skilled workforceFSW = demanding role. Requires -Skills in supproting all family members - Supporting complex needs - Confidence to co-ordinate with all agenciesStruggled, esp. mental health. Couldn’t do APs ‘firefighting’Families - Trust- Unwilling to disclose about caring role – fearful/uncomfortable - Overwhelmed by services alreadyLevel of resource - FSW – a long time to build relationship - Therapeutic sess/FGC – a lot of time to prep (families/agencies), time to respond afterEngaging other agencies - cultural (don’t want to work in this way – not remit/uncomfortable) - Structual (processes get in way – thresholds, agreements) - Financial (who pays)
  • Trust - That you’re there to support & not remove kids - That you’re going to do what you say you are - That your support can really make a differenceContact time – being there for them when they need you - so small case loads (6-10 per FSW)Whole family activities 1st – eg. Dudley ‘Get Cooking’Engage other agencies – has to be driven from topRegular contact – keeps it on the agenda
  • York Consulting's Findings from the Innovation Fund Evaluation

    1. 1. Findings from the Innovation Fund Evaluation James Ronicle, York Consulting 2nd May, 2012
    2. 2. Overview of Presentation• Background to the Innovation Fund• Support Delivered and the Benefits• Challenges in Delivering Support• How Challenges Were/Could be Overcome• Impact of Support on FamiliesAlso drawing on York Consulting’s wider work in area: Evaluation of Family and Young Carer Pathfinders (DfE) Evaluation of Young Carers Grant (Carers Trust) Evaluation of Sheffield Young Carers Steering Group Evaluation of Blackpool Young Carers
    3. 3. Background to the Innovation Fund £1m from DCSF 2010-11, co-ordinated  20 Young Carer projects funded by NYCC & managed by Carers Trust: across England, receiving on average £40,000. Expanded“To reduce the amount of excessive or harmful care service to provide support forundertaken by young carers under the age of whole family. Delivered support18, through the adoption of a whole family approach to just under 600 young carersby selected Young Carer Projects in England.” & their families.Evaluation involved:Telephone Review of Case Study Analysis ofInterviews Project Visits to 6 Outcomeswith all 20 Documents Projects Data Projects
    4. 4. Types of Support Delivered Whole Family Support Whole Whole Family Positive Activities Family Family Group Conferencing Approach Therapeutic Support
    5. 5. Whole Family Support Overview • Family Support Worker Role • Whole Family Assessments • Team Around the Family (TAF) Meetings Benefits • Better understanding of family • Improved support package for family • Improved family engagementGloucestershire FSW Role Blackpool Out-of-hours (evenings & weekend) Family visits to agree action plan provision to provide point of contact during crises Direct emotional & practical support Draw-in & liaise with other agencies (e.g. Adult Mental Health, Substance Misuse, schools)
    6. 6. Family Group Conferencing • Family based decision makingOverview • Immediate & wider family take lead in drawing up Action Plan • Services play supporting role • Empowers familyBenefits • • • Reduces caring role by drawing in wider family Gives young carers a voice in support plan Greater understanding of family Barnardo’s Voices Barnardo’s Liverpool • Central FGC service offered to many • ‘Message in a Bottle’ embedded into young carer projects FGC • Key info stored in bottle to aid services during crises
    7. 7. Therapeutic Support • “Rich, open, tough, relevant family-centred discussions” (PM) • Support sessions delivered to groups of families • Focused on range of issues: • Mental health • StressOverview • Bereavement • Sometimes involved expert practitioners (CAMHS, doctors) • Plugged a gap in support below thresholds • Improved communication & understanding between family members • Reduced stressBenefits • Created support networks (often sustained) Kidstime Stress-Busting Course Bereavement Support • Action for Children Thanet & • Eastern Ravens Trust • St Michael’s & St Christopher’s Canterbury • Weekly arts & crafts sessions Hospices • Supported parents with to provide respite & place to • Support for young carer and mental health difficulties talk family with family member • Opportunity for adults to talk • ‘Stress busting bag’ given near bereavement • Creative sessions to improve to families: • Creative methods to aid young carers’ understanding: • Relaxation techniques emotive discussions: • Pass the parcel booklet • ‘Volcanoes’ & ‘Journeys’ • Making brains with • Stress balls representing emotions vegetables • Visualisation techniques • Music therapy • Treasure hunt • Healthy recipes • ‘Superhero’ puppets
    8. 8. Whole Family Positive Activities Overview• Family Fun days• Weekend residentials• Weekly positive activities (e.g. coffee mornings)• Focused support for individual families Benefits• Improved family relationships• Reduced stress• Better understanding of family• Improved family engagement Get Cooking Focused Support for Families with • Action for Children Dudley Mental Health • Cookery classes for young carers • Barnardo’s Carefree • Family invited at end to share meal • Support families to engage in positive activities in community independently • Volunteer supports family overcoming barriers to positive activities
    9. 9. Challenges in Delivery Appropriately Skilled Workforce Engaging Engaging Other Families Agencies Level of Resources
    10. 10. Overcoming the Challenges • Extensive development & trainingAppropriately Skilled • Ensure recruiting practitioners with wide experience in children’s and adult services Workforce • Second practitioners from adult services to create multi-agency team • Key is building trust: • Large amounts of contact time Engaging Families • Whole family positive activities to introduce the service • Practical tasks first • Factor in time: Level of Resources • Before activity for planning • After activity for follow-up Engaging Other • Engage with senior managers Agencies • Regular contact
    11. 11. ImpactImpact on Families Impact on Young Carers Improved Well-being • Reduced caring roles in a third of families • Improved ability to cope with caring role in Reduced Isolation a third of families Improved Family Percentage of Young Carers Reporting Concerns with Functioning their Ability to Cope with their Caring Role Pre- and Post-Support Greater Understanding of Issues No Concern Of Concern Of Major Concern 61% Increased Resilience 44% 39% 29% Improved Happiness 17% 10% Greater support from wider agencies Pre-Support Post-Support
    12. 12. I’m really grateful for the care worker support – I was struggling and didn’t want my son to have to do all that for me.
    13. 13. It made you feel closer as a family. It brought me and my son closer.
    14. 14. My family are hopeful of our future and I am feeling more positive.
    15. 15. I used to be angry at school everyday. I wouldshout for no reason. Now I’m nowhere near as angry as I used to be.
    16. 16. After we got back, mum’d be happy andbubbly, that put me in a good mood – it felt good that she’s happier.
    17. 17. Thank you for giving back our family.
    18. 18. Conclusion• Innovation Fund showcased voluntary sector’s added value to whole family working. Very innovative approaches in a ‘family-friendly’ environment.• Further demonstrated that supporting the whole family can reduce caring responsibilities.But…• Approach can be challenging and requires significant commitment from both young carer service and other agencies.