SCIENCE-BASED ADAPTATION & INNOVATION IN EARLY YEARS SERVICES

Rapid cycle design and testing | Service design

Harvard Center on the Developing Child

In 2019, we are working with the Harvard Center on the Developing Child to bring their Frontiers of Innovation training to the UK. Aimed at all those working in early years services, this training will support services to improve their design, delivery, and use rapid cycle testing.

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 The need

Decades of research have shown it is possible to improve outcomes for children and families facing adversity. However, the impacts of early childhood services have been modest and traditional approaches to evaluation have not told us enough about how programmes work, and who benefits most and least. So, how can we design and rapidly test and refine services to improve outcomes for more young children and families?

Our response

We’re working with the Harvard Center on the Developing Child to bring their Frontiers of Innovation training to the UK. Since 2011, the Harvard Center has been supporting early years developers, organisations, and practitioners in the US, Mexico, and Brazil to strengthen their service design, implementation and testing. At a one-day training in London on 29th October, scientists and designers from the Harvard Center and the Lab will introduce attendees to the IDEAS Impact Framework, and how they can use it to accelerate impact. A two-day follow up will support a small number of service delivery teams to apply the framework to their practice.

 
 

Work to date

  • Collaboration with the Harvard Center on the Developing Child

  • Recruitment of service delivery teams for the two-day follow-up


What next?  

  • One-day training on October 29th (Central London venue)

  •  Two-day follow-up on October 30th-31st

 
 

To find to more, and book your place at the training, please click here

 For more information, contact:   

Jenny North

 
 

Early Learning Communities Toolkit  

Strategy development | Evidence review

Save the Children 

We have worked with Save the Children UK and partners to create an evidence-informed Toolkit to support local system change activities aimed at improving children’s early learning outcomes. This is underpinned by an evidence review and extensive co-design with local partners. 

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 The need

The early years are a critical period for children, yet those growing up in poverty are much less likely than their more affluent peers to benefit from experiences that support positive development. Local communities and partnerships can help create systems and conditions to support early learning, but often lack the  tools and approaches to design  evidence-informed and locally relevant system change efforts.  

Our response

We will undertake a comprehensive review of the evidence about ‘what matters’ in promoting early learning outcomes and ‘what works’ to improve these outcomes. This evidence, alongside reconnaissance and co-design with communities in Feltham, Margate, Newport and Sheffield, will inform the design of an engaging, practical Toolkit to help inform the design, implementation and ongoing refinement of local system change activities in those communities that Save the Children are working with.  

 
 

Work to date

  • Evidence review is complete  

  • In-depth engagements completed in Feltham, Margate, Newport and Sheffield  

  • Toolkit  co-designed   

  • User feedback elicited and Toolkit refined and finalised   


What next?  

  • Ongoing support to communities using Toolkit  

  • Public launch of Toolkit

Our work started in April 2018 and concluded in December 2018, with support ongoing into 2019.

 
 

Blogs

Can Communities, Professionals and Research truly form evidence for systematic change?

‘Designers are everything… and nothing’: Remaking the place of Design in research

Resources

You can access the Early Learning Communities Toolkit by clicking on the link below and providing a little information.

Early Learning Communities Toolkit

You can also access the Rapid Evidence Review we conducted to inform the Toolkit development by clicking on the link below.

Improving  the early learning outcomes of children growing up in poverty: a rapid review of the evidence 

This work  is  commissioned by Save the Children UK.  The Toolkit was developed by the Lab, and the supporting Evidence Review was led by  Dr  Nick  Axford  at the University of Plymouth.  Collaborators  included Professor Kathy Sylva at the University of Oxford; Professor Jonathan Sharples from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and Bianca Albers from the Centre for Evidence and Implementation (CEI).

 For more information, contact:   

Tim Hobbs 

 
 

Early Action: System Change Renfrewshire 

Public system reform | Service design

Renfrewshire Council, Engage Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership and the Ariel Trust.

We are working with Renfrewshire Council, Engage Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership and the Ariel Trust to undertake a three-year System Change  initiative to promote young people’s emotional wellbeing and to address emotional coercive control in adolescent relationships.  It forms part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s Early Action System Change Fund tackling the root causes of inequality.   

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 The need

In 2016/17 Renfrewshire Council commissioned us to repeat the  Children Count  survey , originally  completed in 2011) The survey captured the well-being of over 85% of children and young people aged 9-16 years in Renfrewshire schools.   The survey highlighted young people’s emotional wellbeing as an area of concern with the data showing an almost two-fold increase in rates of clinically likely diagnosable levels of anxiety and depression between 2011 and 2017. The survey also found that 25% of secondary school age pupils who had been in relationships had experienced worrying levels of emotional control within these relationships. 

Our response

We will understand the system  dynamics and identify leverage points for change and opportunities for investment  by running system and service mapping workshops.  Existing spend  will be mapped  and  we will  identify 1-5% to be reinvested towards early action. Working collaboratively with the voluntary sector to build capacity of young people and families to participate,  we will co-design responses to  the issues. These will then be implemented and rigorously tested using rapid cycle testing techniques to inform adaptations and ongoing improvements.   

 
 

Work to date

  •   Fund mapping is complete.  

  •  System and service mapping is complete.  

  •  A range of organisations from across the voluntary sector have been funded to co-design early action service responses.  

  • Voluntary sector workshops complete.


What next?  

  •  Co-design of early action service responses will take place with children, families and communities.  

  • Resources identified by system modelling will fund early action initiatives.   

    Our work started in  April 2018  and  will  conclude in  April 2021.   

 
 

FNP ADAPT: improving  an  intensive home visiting programme 

Rapid cycle design and testing

Family Nurse Partnership

The Family Nurse Partnership is adapting its home visiting parenting programme to enable their highly trained Family Nurses to deliver a more personalised programme to their clients, who are first time young mothers. FNP site have also designed changes to the programme’s clinical content that is also being tested.   

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Photo credit Family Nurse Partnership National Unit.

 The need

Due to a changing external environment, and the results of the first randomised controlled trial of FNP in the UK, the FNP National Unit embarked on a brave and ambitious project to adapt the programme. 

Our response

The ADAPT programme designs, tests, and adapts strategic and clinical changes to the programme in over 20 of FNP’s delivery sites in England. We have worked with the National Unit to co-design an approach that is based in scientific evidence and informed by the views of clients, family nurses and programme commissioners. This has been tested using rapid cycle design and testing methods since Spring 2016.

 
 

Work to date

  •  Development of New Mum Star in collaboration with Triangle consulting to assess client progress and inform personalisation care plans  

  •  Six adaptations to clinical content co-designed and tested in sites across England using rapid cycle testing methodology.   

  •  Total of 22 FNP sites currently engaged with personalised programme delivery   

  • Regular cycle points where practice is evaluated and changed if implementation is unfeasible or unacceptable to practitioners or clients.    

  • Development of a tool to screen for vulnerability and begin to identify those who might benefit most from the programme.


What next?  

  •    Conclusion of testing in October 2019  

  •  Final report due to be published in March 2020  

  • Public release of New Mum Star in July 2019  

    Our work started in  April 2016  and  will  conclude in  March 2020.  

 
 

Resources

FNP Interim Report

Blogs

Be flexible: Lessons from FNP ADAPT

The work is commissioned and funded by the FNP National Unit and part supported by A Better Start, which is a project of the National Lottery Community Fund. 

 For more information, contact:   

Keira Lowther

 
 

Keeping more children safely at home: System dynamics in social care

Public system reform | Service design

Derbyshire County Council, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, North Tyneside Council, and Blackpool Council. 

We are using system dynamics to help local authorities get to grips with the system behaviours operating within their children’s social care services, to help improve policy, process, and practice and ultimately keep more children safely at home with their families.   

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 The need

Local authority children’s services are experiencing severe cuts in funding in the face of rising demand and increased placement costs. Such a context is making it harder to provide children at the high and lower ends of need with the right support in and out of the care system. Rising numbers of children in care overall but significant variation at local authority level point to the need for a systems approach which embraces complexity and shines a light on some of the negative system behaviours currently operating.  

Our response

We harness staff system insights to understand the problem behaviours currently operating in Derbyshire, Stockton-on-Tees, North Tyneside, and Blackpool local authority children’s services and use group model building techniques to develop system dynamics simulation models. These aid senior decision-makers in service design and re-design. We combine these systems methods with evidence-informed practice tools and rapid literature reviews to help our partner authorities better manage the flow of children through their social care systems and provide better services for children and their families.

 
 

Work to date

  • Derbyshire   

    • Staff workshop “sprint” week complete  

    • Simulation model and interface developed and handed over  

    • Strategy statement written    

    • “Going Home” reunification project complete  

    • Final project presentation delivered  

      

  • Stockton-on-Tees  

    • Staff workshop “sprint” week complete  

    • Generation of “causal loop diagrams” document  

    • Group model building in progress  

    • “Matching Needs and Services” collaborative data collection complete  

      

  • North Tyneside  

    • Initial staff workshop complete   

    • Simulation model and interface developed and handed over  

    • Rapid evidence  review  of edge of care best practice complete  

      

  • Blackpool  

    • Initial staff workshops completed    

    • Simulation model and interface developed  

    • “Going Home” reunification data collection completed   


What next?  

  •  Stockton-on-Tees  

    • Analysis and reporting of Matching Needs and Services data  

    • Analysis and reporting of service mapping data  

    • Staff workshop using “Threshold” tool   

    • Completion of group model building and development of simulation model and user interface  

    • Support around child outcomes and monitoring  

    • Final project presentation and recommendations  

      

  • North Tyneside  

    • Analysis of Going Home data and presentation of findings  

    • Final project presentation and recommendations  

      

  • Blackpool   

    • Submission of final Going Home report and recommendations to senior team  

    • Handover of simulation model documentation   

    • Final project presentation and recommendations  

      

    Our work started in  June 2017  and  will  conclude in  September 2019.

 
 

Resources

Lab insight: Using system dynamics in children’s social care

Blog

Pressures on children’s social care: a systems response

The work is commissioned by  four  local authority partners  in England:  Derbyshire County Council,  Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, North Tyneside Council, and Blackpool Council. We are  supported in the work by  our expert partners in the U.S, the Social System Design Lab, part of  the Brown School at  Washington University in St. Louis, led by Professor Peter  Hovmand. 

 For more information, contact:   

Vicky Baker 

 
 

Positive Destinations for Care Leavers

Public system reform | Service design

Barnardo’s, Plymouth Council and Brent Council

Barnardo’s, the Lab and the Local Authorities in Plymouth and Brent are collaborating to support more care-experienced young people to be in employment, education or training by the age of 19-21.

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 The need

By the time they are 19-21 years old, young people with care experience are much less likely than those without to be in a ‘positive destination’ – in other words, education, employment or training. Despite their best efforts, no Local Authorities, including Plymouth and Brent, have been able to close this gap, which in many areas is 30% or more.

Our response

For one year starting in May 2019, the Lab will use systems thinking methods to do two things: first, to chart how young people in Plymouth and Brent interact with support services on their journeys through and out of care; and second, to understand the complex web of factors that drive whether care leavers in these areas reach positive destinations by the age of 19-21.

 
 

Work to date

  •  Project plan has only just been agreed (and bits of it are still being fleshed out) – so nothing yet


What next?  

  • Implementation of a survey for voluntary and public sector organisations to gain a better picture of the service network that supports care leavers (July 2019) 

  • First draft of the service maps charting the different services that young people interact with on their journeys through and out of care (September 2019) 

  • Workshops with Barnardo’s staff and care experienced young people to better understand the factors that drive whether young people reach ‘positive destinations’ by 19-21 (December 2019 – February 2020). 

 Our work started in May 2019 and will conclude in May 2020

 
 

Resources

This document outlines Barnardo’s Care Journey Core Priority Programme, which this project sits within. 

The work is funded by Barnardo’s. Our partners are Barnardo’s, Plymouth Council and Brent Council.

 For more information, contact:   

Shreya  Sonthalia

 
 

THE #iwill  Fund Learning Hub   

Evidence review | Strategy development

#iwill Fund 

Dartington  Service Design Lab are the lead partners in the #iwill  Fund Learning Hub.  We’re working with Match Funders, delivery organisations and evaluators to maximise learning and develop knowledge about how to fund, deliver, and sustain high-quality youth social action that can benefit young people and their communities. 

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 The need

The #iwill Fund brings together £40 million in funding from the DCMS and The National Lottery Community Fund. It aims to make social action part of life for as many 10 to 20 year-olds as possible by 2020. Funding is matched and distributed by other funders through programmes that enable more young people, particularly from less affluent communities, to take part in high quality social action that builds a habit for life. 

Our response

We are maximising the leaning created by the #iwill Fund to develop a rich body of knowledge on (i) how to increase the availability and sustainability of youth social action (ii) what outcomes youth social action can promote for young people and communities (iii) how delivery organisations can strengthen and improve their programme design, delivery, and monitoring.

 
 

Work to date

  Enquiries working with funders, professionals, and delivery organisations, into (a) how funders can support youth social action in schools (b) how to fund youth social action in a ‘place-informed’ way (c) whether and how to integrate youth social action with ‘all-ages’ social action   

The second cohort of youth social action delivery organisations are going through the ‘Impact Accelerator’ process to assess the strengths of their design, delivery and monitoring, and then work to improve weaker elements.   

Work to aggregate and disseminate relevant evidence inside and outside of the Fund is well underway.


What next?  

There will be two further Impact Accelerator cohorts, with reports produced summarising improvement strategies and broader lessons for the sector.   

A wide range of evidence papers will be produced and disseminated during the life of the Learning Hub.   

Our work started in January 2018 and will conclude in March 2022.

 
 

Blog/Resource

All #iwill Fund Learning Hub reports and blogs can be found here

The funder is the #iwill Fund – created by the National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Our consortium partners delivering the Learning Hub are Generation ChangeRenaisi, and the Centre for Youth Impact.

 For more information, contact:   

Jenny North

 
 

My Future: Rapid Cycle Design & Testing

Rapid cycle design and testing

Chance UK

Using rapid cycle design and testing we have partnered with Chance UK to  improve the design, implementation  and continuous monitoring of  the My  Future project:  a 9-month child mentoring service delivered to  50 children in Camden and Southwark. My Future started in October 2018 and will conclude in June 2020.  

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 The need

Research evidence  shows  that mentoring relationships can  positively affect children’s social and emotional behaviours. However, this evidence also reveals great variation in impact. For organisations like  Chance UK, whose  aim to  use mentoring to improve  children’s behavioural and emotional difficulties, there remains a chasm between what interventions are known to work in theory and what services  actually work  well in practice.  

Our response

Our ambition is to bridge this gap by developing practice-based evidence through a  fast, iterative approach. We work closely with Chance UK’s staff and mentors to understand the explicit behavioural needs of the children the service targets,  rapidly  develop new activities and adapt existing ones that can address these needs within the children’s individual environments, and  continuously  collect a range of quantitative and qualitative data about whether and how activities are being implemented and their intermediate and long-term effects.  

 
 

Work to date

  •  Guiding Theory of Change  created   

  • Logic  model and evaluation framework developed to inform project delivery and evaluation  

  • New programme manual  created  with new  and refined  mentoring activities and more continuous assessments  

  • Training in new curriculum offered to mentors  


What next?  

  •  Redesign of data collection and reporting systems  

  • Implementation of new mentoring activities and  continuous  mixed methods data collection  

 
 

My Future is funded by Chance UK

 For more information, contact:   

Deon Simpson

 
 

Creating the Best Start in Life in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Strategy development

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough councils

Dartington Service Design Lab are partnering with Collaborate to build and operationalise a strategy for the Early Years with the local authorities in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire. We are bringing local data, research evidence and professionals and service user views together to create a solution that responds pragmatically to local need.

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 The need

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough local authorities are working together to create a strategy for the Early Years, making the most of their combined resource to address challenges faced by young children and their familes across the two districts.

Our response

Dartington and Collaborate have been working to co-create an integrated delivery plan to deliver on this strategy. This will involve incorporating local epidemiological data, local professional views, mapping the research evidence of what matters in terms of influencing outcome and mapping public and private service provision across the area. This will identify the opportunities for where, and how the local authortiies of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough might act to address these key outcome areas.

 
 

Work to date

  •  Four workshops working with the implementation group, drawing insights from professionals working in the Early Years across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to gather data and evidence to begin to flesh out the integrated delivery plan. 

  • One one-day summit for a wider stakeholder group to sense check progress and direction for next steps. 


What next?  

  • There will be four further implementation groups sessions and one further one-day summits with the wider groups. 

  • Local service mapping will take place to support decision making at a local/district level.  

  • Further service user research to sense check and verify that the outcomes identified are meaningful and important to local families and communities. 

Our work started in April 2019 and will conclude in October 2019 

 
 

This work is funded by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough councils. We are working in partnership with Collaborate

 For more information, contact:   

Keira Lowther

 
 

Service Mapping in Southend

Public system reform | Data analytics and visualisation

Southend A Better Start and Public Health at Southend Borough Council.

We are  working with Southend  A  Better Start and  Public Health at Southend Borough Council to map the services  currently  available to families with  children from conception to age 19.  This is to understand the current service landscape in Southend and aid future system reform.  

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 The need

Before considering system reform, leaders need a clear map of the system to fully understand services available to 0-19-year olds and the typical pathways available to them. We cannot know where the system is working well, or where it requires bolstering, without this understanding. This is where Southend  currently  find themselves – needing to know what their current configuration of services are providing and where there may be gaps in provision.  

Our response

We are  creating  an interactive  map of services, covering a range of factors from who the service is targeted at  to what kind of child or family outcomes they deal with. Once complete the interactive map will be available to all partners and stakeholders to increase  the  shared understanding of services in Southend and where pathways can be strengthened. 

 
 

Work to date

  •  Set up of online data collection form  

  •  Supporting services with data collection   

  •  Creating and refining prototype interactive service map  . 


What next?  

  •  Ongoing data collection  

  •  Final interactive map creation  

    Our work started in December 2018  and  will  conclude in  April 2019.   

 
 

This work has been commissioned jointly by Southend A Better Start and Public Health  at  Southend Borough Council.

Blogs

What next for evidence?

 For more information, contact:   

Daniel Ellis

 
 

Your Voice, Your Way: Co-design of a Feedback Tool in Children’s Social Care  

Service Design

Renfrewshire Children’s Social Care and Snook

We are working in partnership with Renfrewshire Children’s Social Care and Snook to transform the way young people’s experiences are heard and acted upon within the care system. Key to the project is the co-design of a feedback tool that can be mapped against a new young person-centred quality assurance framework.

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 The need

Currently social care services are measured against standards set by external care review bodies and Council teams, but don’t necessarily reflect the reality of young people’s care experiences and what they value within them. Similarly, young people in care are currently only given fixed opportunities to feedback their thoughts and experiences, which may not be in the right way or time for them or facilitate effective information sharing and updates.  

Our response

We are working to understand what is important for the future quality assurance framework and feedback tool by  conducting a series of locally held co-design workshops and interviews with young people, parents, carers and social care practitioners. Together, we will co-produce a young person-centred quality assurance Framework, and Feedback Tool.   

 
 

Work to date

  •  Project planning with We Are Snook and Renfrewshire Council   

  •  Initial recruitment and planning for practitioner interviews and foster carer workshops  

  • Outreach to key voluntary sector partners including Who Cares? Scotland and Barnardo’s   

  • Engagement with the Independent Care Review and Care Inspectorate  


What next?  

  •    Expert interviews with those from across the sector   

  • Engaging young people in 1:1 journey mapping sessions and priority setting sessions  

  • Delivery of insight and co-design workshops with young people, caregivers and practitioners  

    Our work started in March 2019 and will conclude in September 2020  .  

 
 

Our partners are Renfrewshire Council, who commissioned the project and We Are Snook Design Agency, who will be supporting with the design and development process.    This project is funded by the Life Changes Trust.  

 For more information, contact:   

India Roche

 
 

ChildrenCount Wellbeing Surveys 

Data analysis and visualisation

Renfrewshire Council, A Better Start, Perth and Kinross, Dundee, Angus and North Ayrshire Council

The ChildrenCount Wellbeing surveys have been designed to capture data from children, young people and parents about a range of Key Developmental Outcomes and Risk Factors as they current experience them. Data has been collected from across England and Scotland to help inform strategy in local authorities. 

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 The need

Local authorities have been experiencing increasing need and less resources. Paired with this, they don’t necessarily know what the exact needs of their population are. This particularly hinders decisions on which early intervention and prevention activities should be funded, and how to target these better.

Our response

The ChildrenCount Wellbeing surveys are carefully constructed from standardised and validated measurement tools covering a wide range of child wellbeing aspects, including intrinsic, social, family and community-based risks. Data is census level and is presented back to local authorities in a unique and engaging way to allow them to understand the prevalence of problems within their locality, whether this is likely worse or better than elsewhere, and which risk factors are predictively linked to which outcomes. 

 
 

Work to date

  •  Surveyed over 36,000 children and families 

  • Open access data portal to feed data back 

  • Lab paper: Matching Needs and Services – a Tale of 3 Circles. 


What next?  

  •  Research based on the data collected so far 

  • New sites

Our work is ongoing.

 
 

Making  SafeSkills  evaluation ready  

Data analysis and visualisation

Ariel Trust

We have partnered with the Ariel Trust for almost 7 years in various forms. Our latest work  sought to standardise data collection from children participating in the  SafeSkills  Child Sexual Exploitation education programme so that Ariel could monitor and evaluate the delivery, and possible effect, of the programme internally. 

Image taken from Ariel data reports

Image taken from Ariel data reports

 

 The need

There is very little evidence about what works in child sexual exploitation prevention. Where programmes do exist, they tend to be one-off lessons focusing on awareness rather than seeking to give children the skills to combat exploitation.  SafeSkills  runs within the school curriculum, takes a skills-based approach to prevention and has a clear logic model. However, no data has previously been collected around the delivery of the programme and the intermediary outcomes it may be affecting. 

Our response

We have worked with the Ariel Trust to design and implement a short pre/post questionnaire to collect basic delivery and outcome information about children taking part in the programme. This data is designed to be routinely monitored via easy-to-read data reports that allow the team to course correct if delivery is off course and see early signs of change in children. Crucially, the programme itself can be tweaked whilst collecting the same data, setting-up the programme for rapid cycle testing.

 
 

Work to date

  •  Identify delivery and engagement metrics  

  • Identify appropriate outcome measures to ask pre/post  

  • Develop a short data collection form  

  • Develop an analysis procedure and data report that can be produced routinely  

  • Recommend next steps.   


What next?  

  •  This project is complete.  

    Our work started in November 2017 and concluded  in  April 2018   

 
 

Resources

SafeSkills – A different approach to preventative  CSE  education 

The work was commissioned by the Centre for expertise on child sexual abuse. The Ariel Trust is the delivery partner and we are the evaluation partner. 

 For more information, contact:   

Daniel Ellis

 
 

DESIGNING THE RIGHT CARE TOGETHER:  EMOTIONAL WELLBEING AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN SURREY

Public system reform

Surrey County Council and the six associated Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

We worked with Surrey County Council and the six associated Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to inform the redesign of the emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people in Surrey.   

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 The need

In recent times, Surrey has faced critique  of  long waiting times and inadequate support for children and young people who need it in Surrey. At the same time, mental health was identified as the top priority for change in Surrey in a survey of 18000 young people.  Surrey County Council are committed  to transformation by 2020  to ensure that the new services meet the needs of children and young people. 

Our response

We have learned from the experiences of children and young people, and their parents and carers who have accessed mental health support and services: what was helpful, not helpful, and could have been helpful. We have explored what parents who have not accessed services know about the system, and what support they would find helpful.  Through a series of engagement workshops we have understand the challenges of the professionals providing supports and services, and what the drivers of the challenges are, with a particular focus on system structures and behaviours. 

 
 

Work to date

  •  An event with approximately 70 system leaders and decision-makers to launch the project and more importantly to mark the start of the journey towards transforming the outcomes for children.   

  • 21 sessions, between 90 to 120 minutes each were run across seven regions: Godalming, Dorking, Woking, Farnham, Staines, Ewell and Caterham. Approximately 200 professionals, 50 parents and carers, and 5 young people participated in these.   

  • A final session with senior leaders from the council and CCGs to share the five main themes from the workshop and consider what can be done.   


What next?  

  • This project is complete.

Our work started in  November 2018  and concluded  in  February 2019.    

 
 

The work is commissioned by Surrey County Council, in partnership with the six Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the region.

 For more information, contact:   

Shreya  Sonthalia

 
 

Hothouses for Innovation

Service design

Crisis

The Hothouses for Innovation initiative is a  partnership with  Crisis, the national homelessness charity.  It is a service design initiative aimed at improving  services and outcomes  for those who might benefit from Crisis support, employing design thinking and rapid cycle testing methods.     

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 The need

Crisis  deliver services for people affected by homelessness in 11 locations, called Skylights, across the UK. While the context around homelessness is dynamic and changing at the national level, there are also important differences and dynamics in local areas. The Skylight model of support,  therefore,  must  constantly  be adapting and learning to ensure it can improve outcomes for communities in different environments.  

Our response

Selected Crisis Skylights have become Hothouses for Innovation  in which  the  Lab is facilitating a service design process that incorporates user-centred  and evidence-informed design.  The process starts with a  full-day workshop bringing Crisis staff and  service users  together with partner organisations to agree on a priority challenge that the Hothouse would address.  Next, we run a  Service Design Sprint in which staff,  service users  and partners rapidly develop  service adaptations  that responded to the priority challenge.  Finally, the Hothouses pilot the most promising adaptation  and  within a framework of rapid cycle testing. 

 
 

Work to date

  •  Challenge workshops at the Hothouses  

  •  Service Design Sprint  

  •  Implementation of the most promising adaptation  

  • Rapid cycle testing  


What next?  

  •   Dissemination of learning from the Hothouses across the network of Crisis Skylights  

  • Ongoing delivery by a Hothouse of their adaptation following refinement through the rapid cycle testing process  

    Our work started in September 2017  and  will conclude in September 2019.

 
 

Resources

Hothouses for Innovation at Crisis Skylight South Yorkshire (not yet published)

Employment Pathways at Crisis Skylight  Oxford: Independent Evaluation Report (not yet published)

Progressing Onwards  at Crisis Skylight  London: Independent Evaluation Report (not yet published)

Crisis Skylight South Yorkshire and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority partnership: Independent Evaluation Report

Employment Pathways at Crisis Skylight Coventry & Warwickshire: Independent Evaluation Report

Progressing Towards Employment at Crisis Skylight Edinburgh: Independent Evaluation Report

Oxford Challenge Brief

South Yorkshire Challenge Brief

Edinburgh Challenge Brief

Blogs

Evaluation will set you free

Co-production in testing – the art of the possible?

Data-driven co-production: Challenging our preconceptions

Running a marathon as a sprint: service design accelerated

The Hothouses for Innovation initiative is a partnership between the  Dartington  Service Design Lab and Crisis,  a national charity for homeless people.  Crisis  helps people directly out of homelessness and campaigns for the changes needed to solve it altogether. Crisis’ ultimate aim is to eradicate homelessness

 For more information, contact:   

Ben Hartridge

 
 

Inclusion as Prevention: South Lanarkshire 

System reform

Action for Children, Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice, South Lanarkshire Council  and  Big  Lottery Scotland. 

Inclusion as Prevention  is a system change initiative that seeks to collaboratively re-shape the design and delivery of preventative services with children and young people who are at risk of or involved in offending. The inter-agency partnership - involving social work, education, police and the voluntary sector - are working to shift practice from reactive and crisis driven approaches, and instead identify and intervene at an earlier point in the lives of children who are at risk of becoming involved in future offending.   

The initiative will use robust data of need, co-production approaches and improvement methodologies to design and test interventions and service responses to improve outcomes. We will use rapid cycle design and testing cycles over a  five-year  period.    

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 The need

There is a growing body of evidence and awareness that children involved in a pattern of offending, or who are involved in more serious offences, are nearly always vulnerable, victimised and traumatised young people. Children who are involved in serious offending or frequent offending  almost always  have experienced trauma. The current system of preventative interventions and supports are not reaching the right children.

Our response

Over the five years of the project life, we will work with our partners in the community, local government and national organisations  to identify  the right groups of children and young people, and their families. We will explore  with them what happens when we focus the system on including people. We will design and agree a suitable evaluation approach with the partnership; undertake quantitative and qualitative data collection; and use this data to inform key decisions over the project’s life.

 
 

Work to date

  •  Partnership model agreed  

  •  Trust, permission and resources  from organisational leaders to allow staff to take up different roles, working in new ways  

  •  Initial  monitoring and evaluation draft completed  

  •  Data sharing agreements in place   


What next?  

  •  On-going support to the project partners  

  •  Collect data using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to understand how the project is bringing about change over the life of the project  

  • Content analysis providing key findings to help shape and direct the  ongoing  project  

    Our work started in December 2018 and will conclude in November 2023.   

 
 

System Mapping Homelessness  

Public system reform | Data analytics and visualisation 

Center for Homelessness Impact 

We worked with the Centre for Homelessness Impact to make sense of the complexity of homelessness. With experts in the field we builta system map that charts the inter-related causes and consequences of homelessness to guide action in a complex world.

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 The need

The issue of homelessness  has been in the public  consciousness  for over 50 years. Despite our best-evidenced interventions,  it  has not gone away.  The  issue  is persistent in a large part because of its complexity: the causes and consequences of homelessness are wide-ranging and inter-connected. While individual policies and interventions may be effective, a meaningful and sustained reduction of homelessness requires a whole-system understanding and approach. 

Our response

We convened a series of workshops that brought together  people working across local and central government, the voluntary sector, academia and policy  to gather their views of the complex causes and consequences of homelessness. These were captured in a systems map, developed iteratively with the Centre for Homelessness Impact and other experts in the field. The system map presents the systemic structures that are essential to understand in order to take a sustainable approach to tackling homelessness. 

 
 

Work to date

  •   Multiple  workshops in London, Glasgow and Southend  

  •  Iterative development of system map  

  • Day-long workshop with friends of the Centre to develop map    

  •  Further iteration of the system map.  

  • Support for the Centre to align systems work with wider objectives  


What next?  

  • This project has concluded.

    Our work started in  August 2018  and   concluded in  March 2019.

 
 

Blog

What we talk about when we talk about systems

This work is commissioned by the Centre for Homelessness Impact.   

 For more information, contact:   

Ben Hartridge