When developing and implementing something new, it’s important to include some evaluation of whether the time and resources spent have been worthwhile. We invite critical reflections on the Food for Thought project. Read on to learn about what we’re doing, what we need to know and how you can help.
You can add your own reflections at the bottom of this page.
Let’s start by looking at the kind of things we need to know:
First we want to know whether we delivered the expected outputs that we agreed at the start of the project. These are:
- learning materials for Reflective Workshops (group learning events)
- A Reflective Tool and interactive web-based tool – for individual reflection by carers about specific looked-after children
- guidance to support facilitated group discussion following the group learning and individual reflection
The project was based on a model of co-working and knowledge exchange. We will be co-developing the outputs listed above with our partners.
Second therefore, we want to know about how the process of partnership is working. How does our partnership approach contribute to making sure that outputs are relevant and useful to those who care for looked-after young people, either in residential care, foster care or other situations? We need to know what has worked well and what hasn’t worked so well – how effective is our approach both in principle and in practice.
Finally, and most importantly, we need to know about the different ways the tools have impacted on practice and on looked-after young people. Have our tools helped foster carers, residential workers and others to understand issues relating to food and care better – and has this improved the outcomes for looked-after children? This is possibly the hardest part of the work to evaluate because so many things impact on practice and on the lives of individuals. We need know what changes in working practice and in young people’s lives can be attributed in some way to the materials we have developed.
How did we do this?
To evaluate in all the ways described above, we used a range of methods. Over the course of the project we worked with partner organisations to develop and pilot the outputs. As the project progressed, we asked those working with us either to develop materials or to test them, to give us honest feedback about what the tools look like and how they are working.
We also needed to know about the process of working together. What were the challenges and to what extent had they been addressed? Was the partnership approach enjoyable, relevant, engaging or something different? Did our volunteer helpers think that the approach has made a difference to the outputs produced and if so in what ways?
At the end of the project, following the launch of the materials on 19 November 2013, the Stirling University team will evaluate the impact of the materials over the following five years.
What can you do to help?
If you are working with us, or have used any of the tools or materials, please add your own reflections.
You can add a comment anonymously – and all reflections and comments will really help us to understand the on-going process and the impact of the project.
Tell us what you think!