In partnership with Nottingham City Council, we developed a programme - Feeling Our Way - to provide young people who have experienced care in Nottingham with a package of support of digital and physical resources to improve their coping strategies and feelings of social connection during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic. This programme is now being replicated in Lambeth.
The evaluation aimed to identify whether the programme led to improved outcomes in the young people’s feelings of isolation and social connection, awareness of adaptive coping strategies during the pandemic, and awareness of what mental health support is available.
The evaluation adopted a mixed methods approach. The quantitative component consisted of a survey given to the young people before and after the programme. The qualitative component involved interviews with the young people, their PAs and other key workforce members.
Five young people completed questionnaires at baseline and follow-up. Due to this low response rate, quantitative analysis of the data was limited.
The qualitative analysis from interviews with the young people and PAs highlighted reporting of enhanced coping strategies, the importance of the provision of phones, the heterogeneity of the young people and their needs, and that the young people felt less alone.
The process evaluation highlighted key barriers and facilitators for the project’s success. Recommendations are made for future programmes relating to package content and increasing engagement.