The Mental Health Foundation, alongside the University of Strathclyde, are the evaluation and learning partners for the Barnardo’s Core Priority Programme in mental health and wellbeing which seeks to address local level systems change for the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. The programme currently runs in 3 localities across the UK (Renfrewshire, North Tyneside, and South Eastern Trust (NI).
The programme we are evaluating – what does it have to do with prevention?
Prevention is at the heart of the Barnardo’s project
The overall aim is to transform local systems such that they more strongly focus on early intervention and prevention for the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, and ultimately to reduce risk factors influencing children and young people’s mental health and ensuring that their resilience is maximized.
The aim of the strategic partnerships is to work collaboratively to achieve this change at the local level by identifying the changes that need to happen within the system and devising ways and means to achieve those changes through investing in portfolios of work.
MHF role – evaluation & learning partner
As evaluation and learning partner, we seek to support this programme of work through employing evaluation approaches that emphasise an understanding of change and the contribution of each of the strategic partnerships to that change, the principles of co-production, and an ongoing cycle of learning within partnerships through regular workshops and learning events. As such, our evaluation methodology is informed by systems thinking, theory of change, and contribution analysis.
In our role as a learning partner, we host seminars with international partners, facilitate workshops and learning events for stakeholders within and across the partnership areas, and conduct evidence overviews. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to support Barnardo’s through reviewing evidence around the impact of lockdown on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people and effective interventions for children and young people experiencing bereavement, loss and grief.