Our Impact and Learning Report shows the difference we make to young lives every day. Learning is also paramount to us because it ensures we are always seeking to improve our work with and for children and young people, and in this year’s report we set out key things that we didn’t achieve and what we’ve learned as a result.
It’s not just the children and young people we support who benefit from the impact of our work: we fight for wider systems change taking the evidence from our direct casework as a starting point. We’ve achieved some incredible reforms that will make a big difference in the lives of many children and young people.
In addition to our annual Impact Reports, we recently commissioned an external evaluation of our casework model to help us better understand how we make a difference in the lives of the children and young people we work with. The mixed methods evaluation, which ran from May 2021 to May 2022, was based on 15 depth interviews with children and young people, four interviews with staff, two surveys (with 36 children and young people, and 19 staff), a review of evaluation data held by Just for Kids Law and three co-production workshops held with young people and staff to explore the findings and co-produce recommendations.
Overall, we found out just how important and distinct our work is to the children and young people we work with, with client interviewees reporting being very satisfied by our work’s impact on their lives. Our support was also found to be largely accessible and equitable: there were no examples of children and young people feeling they had been treated differently because of who they were which stood in contrast to their experience outside of Just for Kids Law.
Here’s a snapshot of what the evaluation discovered about our impact and the effectiveness of how we work.
Satisfaction with support
Children and young people reported being very satisfied with our support, which they attributed to the way they were treated by staff, who they found to be empathetic, supportive, positive, and approachable. Children and young people described us as looking out for their best interests and being more respectful and compassionate than other organisations.
They gave me respect; he wasn’t pompous or anything like that. He was just literally always reassuring me. And I thought that was nice. He … said look, we’ll get to the bottom of this, and I can imagine how you felt. … He had empathy. And I thought that took some of the stress out of it.
Young people’s outcomes
The majority of the children and young people interviewed reported progress on the issues we have been working with them on, despite our staff having to work through multiple complex issues during the pandemic.
Our clients felt more confident, less isolated, more stable, calmer and less worried as a result of our support, and there was also a strong sense that they better understood their rights and entitlements too. This gave them a newfound sense of power and a new ability to challenge external agencies, if needed. Many children and young people said their relationships with external agencies had improved and they felt professionals listened to them more as a result of our work.
Looking ahead, many children and young people felt more hopeful about their lives and future, feeling that they better understood their options moving forwards and that they would be in a better position to tackle future issues themselves.
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