The need to measure effectiveness of counselling interventions offered to children and young people is becoming ever more crucial in helping to sustain funding for services, gather evidence for service development and articulate the impact on the individual child/young person. The newly established ‘How Are You?’ tool has been used with children and young people (aged five years - 19 years) at counselling or family support sessions (at 1, 4 and 7 or 8) to try and capture their self- reported progress. The tool contains a combination of ‘smiley faces’ ratings scales and ladder (likert) scales. Each section aims to gain a sense from the child about issues such as:
Their sense of isolation
The tool has proved to be user friendly with the children/young people and has yielded interesting and illuminating results which clearly highlight their progress throughout the contact with the service. Benefits of its use have included:
Offering an affirming map of progress for the individual when children and young people see where they were and where they are now at the end of the sessions
Identifying clear impact of investment to report back to funders
Validates the role of the counsellors/family support workers
Allows comparison of data between children/young people who have required pre-bereavement support or experienced bereavement through different causes.
Results are portrayed in terms of percentage of those who have made progress during their contact with the service and can be used in conjunction with more qualitative data, observations and case studies to comprehensively evaluate the sessions and overall service.
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