We are continually evaluating the quality of services across the country to ensure that Independent Support continues to benefit parents and young people and is accessible to as many families as possible
National Evaluation of the Independent Support Programme
In January 2016 the National Development Team for inclusion (NDTi) published an indepdendent evaluation of Independent Support. The evaluation looked at how Independent Support was being delivered, how well it is working and looked for areas of best practice.
The report highlighted a number of key findings including:
- The Independent Supporter role has become the cornerstone of the reforms for many people in many areas, reflecting a focus on personalised and people led support at critical transition points in young people’s lives.
- Independent Supporters can be and often are a catalyst for change, helping to embed the culture of the reforms in organisations and with families so that they have a wider impact on systems as well as with individuals.
- The added value of Independent Support is most often demonstrated through the experiences of parents who have experienced IS as a distinctly new resource, a focused capacity and access to enhanced support.
- It is too soon to be thinking about ending the Independent Support programme (i.e. in March 2016), as it is only just gathering momentum at a local level and is taking time to take effect both for individual families/young people and those delivering the service.
Quality Assurance Survey
We use an online survey to collect feedback from parents and young people who have been supported by an Independent Supporter. Survey feedback is anonymous and enables us to improve the service going forward. As of March 2017 a total of 2,040 independent evaluation have been received. 98% found Independent Support was available when they needed it and 90% said the support they received had a positive impact.
Other key findings:
- 93% found Independent Supporters either useful or extremely useful
- 90% found the support they received had a positive impact
- 95% would recommend the Independent Support service
- 90% felt they needed support with EHC planning in the future
- 89% felt the referral process was easy
80% felt they were fully able to express their views and were listened to throughout the process
To download hard copies of survey click here
Independent Support case studies
We have published 66 case studies relating to parents, carers and young people who have received support through the Independent Support programme. Each case study helpfully illustrates what support was offered and just as importantly – what the experience was in light of that support.
Independent Support - A Linear Report
In October 2015, we published a progress report to give an overview of the activities and outcomes of Independent Support between Feburary 2014 and September 2015. The report provides a detailed overview of the evidence and build phase with a particular focus on how local partnerships were successfully established to help develop strong working relationships between local services, local authorities and families. The report presents successes to date whilst recognising some of the challenges and issues faced by contracted organisations and local authorities along the way. For example, changing the mind-set and the way we all work together with partners in local authority areas and the challenge of delivering a new national training programme in a short timeframe
Independent Support – Review of Evidence and Build phase
In June 2014, we published the findings of the Evidence and Build phase of the Independent Support programme. This phase sought to identify potential models and multiagency practice to inform the development of an effective Independent Supporter workforce. In total, 13 voluntary, community sector and private organisations and 12 Information, Advice and Support Services (formerly known as Parent Partner Services) contributed reports, the findings of which have been collated by the National Children’s Bureau Research Centre.