Vicki Hollis advises practitioners on the best ways to involve children and families in evaluating services
We need to know whether our services help keep children safe, recover from abuse and adversity and improve relationships and well-being. Carrying out evaluations of our services is a key part of this. However, doing evaluations can be difficult, especially when practitioners take on evaluation responsibilities alongside providing help to children and families.
Often practitioners have to juggle the demands of the evaluation with doing assessments and therapeutic work. Many practitioners will not have had training or experience in evaluation or research methods. A particular challenge is how practitioners can engage service users in the whole evaluation process - this is a crucial factor determining how successful the evaluation will be.
The practitioners who deliver our services have gained a huge amount of experience from helping to evaluate more than 25 of our services for children and families. This is what we’ve learnt about how to make evaluation work in practice and keep service users engaged from start to finish.