News

Evaluation of our Transition Support Service

A recent evaluation report by academics from the University of Dundee and the University of Massachusetts has found our Transition Support Service is “highly effective” in helping young people achieve independent living.

Our Transition Support Service exists to provide young people aged 14 – 25 years with additional support to confidently live an independent life, beyond Includem’s support.

“We believe no young person is beyond help. Our model of support has been proven to transform the lives of thousands of young people by building trusting relationships and gradually changing the way they look at their own lives, and their behaviour patterns. Getting independent acknowledgement that our approach really works is a real boost for our staff,” said our Chief Executive, Martin Dorchester.

One of the report’s authors, the University of Dundee’s Professor Divya Jindal-Snape said:

“After talking to young people, parents, and staff, along with documented evidence we found that the service was highly effective in achieving its four goals of getting young people better engaged with the community, increasing their employability chances, building better relationships and reducing their risk of homelessness.

“All were met to a measurable degree and positive outcomes achieved despite the adversity of the young people’s lives.”

In particular the report – based on a sample of 15 young people and families taking part in the programme - praised how responsive staff were to an individual’s needs as well as having a clear understanding of the wider context of the environment they were living in.

One young person, Fiona from Glasgow, said: “I feel mentally and emotionally stable to start thinking about working. I know myself I would never have known myself by now if it wasn’t for Includem.”

The full report, which was funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, can be viewed here.

Summary of findings

  • 85% of young people on the service met their primary outcomes, despite the level of adversity in their lives. Those whose primary outcomes were not met were experiencing matters that were not in the control of Includem or the young people. However, some young people achieved over and above their primary outcomes.
  • Relationships are key. Young people identified that having positive, reciprocal and trusting relationships with the adults in their lives, be it their parents, carers, Includem worker or other agency staff, is a key factor to having a successful transition.
  • Young people preferred face-to-face contact. The frequency of contact and hours of support varied for different young people, with some requiring a lot more support than others. The amount of time Includem workers spent with young people was flexible, always based upon their ongoing and changing needs.
  • The 24/7 Helpline was useful for both young people and families. Both used the Helpline at times of crisis and found it extremely helpful, even if they didn’t speak to their individual worker.
  • Setting their own goals gives young people a sense ownership. Young people are actively involved in planning their own outcomes. The agreement of outcomes in partnership with young people is important in giving them a sense of ownership and control.
  • Young people received the service for as long as they needed it. This ranged from five to 40 months, with an average of just over 14 months. Transitional support time periods reflect the needs of individuals and highlight the person-centredness of the service.
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