• Assessing nationwide interventions in schools and the community that aim to improve the mental wellbeing of 10-to 16-year olds

    Assessing nationwide interventions in schools and the community that aim to improve the mental wellbeing of 10-to 16-year olds

    CORC is part of the Learning Team for HeadStart, a five-year programme set up by The National Lottery Community Fund which aims to improve the mental wellbeing of 10- to 16-year-olds and prevent serious mental health issues before they develop. The Learning Team is a consortium of partners evaluating and sharing learning from HeadStart, led by Dr Jessica Deighton at EBPU and also including Common Room, the University of Manchester and the London School of Economics.

    Six local authority-led HeadStart partnerships in Blackpool, Cornwall, Hull, Kent, Newham and Wolverhampton are working with local young people, schools, families, charities, community and public services to make young people’s mental health and wellbeing everybody’s business. School interventions include whole school, year group and class level support, such as education around what mental health is and what to do when experiencing a mental health problem. Other interventions, such as one-to-one counselling sessions, are for particular groups of young people e.g. those who are at higher risk of developing a mental health problem.

    Find out more about the approaches and learning from HeadStart:

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  • Evaluating the impact of co-produced children and young people’s mental health training in hospitals

    Evaluating the impact of co-produced children and young people’s mental health training in hospitals

    CORC is delighted to be a project partner for We Can Talk, evaluating the impact of co-produced children and young people’s mental health training in hospitals across the country. We Can Talk co-produced (with hospital staff, young people and mental health experts) a competency framework, and an accompanying one-day Training, to improve the knowledge, skills and confidence of any member of staff who sees children and young people in their role (clinical and non-clinical). 

    CORC supports both the smooth running of the training, and the analysis of staff surveys and impact data to ensure We Can Talk can provide high quality reports to partners and build the evidence base for training acute hospital staff in children and young people's mental health. 

    We Can Talk with support from CORC also launched an online training tool to improve staff knowledge and confidence when supporting children and young people attending hospital due to their mental health. http://wecantalk.online/fundamentals/

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  • Delivering and evaluating national mental health training programme between schools and NHS

    Delivering and evaluating national mental health training programme between schools and NHS

    CORC is a delivery partner and contributes to the evaluation design, data collection, monitoring and quality assurance of the Mental Health Services and Schools and Colleges Link Programme. 

    The Link Programme is a national initiative funded by the Department for Education, supported by NHS England and led by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families working with 13 partners, including CORC. It will reach every school and college in England over the next four years (starting September 2019), identifying children and young people’s needs at an early stage and equipping professionals to support them. 

    The Link Programme has a simple aim: to bring together education and mental health professionals so that more children and young people get the help and support they need when they need it. The training will be rolled out to schools and colleges in phases over four years, being offered to up to 22,000 schools and colleges, including alternative provision settings. The Link Programme will deliver just under 1,000 training sessions across England involving two whole-day workshops for up to 20 schools at a time to cover all 22,000 schools, encouraging collaborative work so children do not fall between the cracks or experience poor transition between services. This package of measures is part of the Government’s plan to improve mental health support for children and young people, including identifying mental health issues before they become more acute.

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  • Supporting the CYN to establish a measurement framework

    Supporting the CYN to establish a measurement framework

    The Creative Youth Network (CYN) enables young people, no matter what their background or circumstances, to reach their own potential; a wide range of activities and projects are delivered to help young people overcome the barriers they face. The work ranges from Open Access youth clubs and activities, small groups work such as creative courses, through to 1:1 work with a Wellbeing Practitioner. All provision to young people at CYN is underpinned by a Theory of Change linked into the Young Foundation Outcomes Framework; it is this that is forming the basis for what should and can be measured by the service. 
      
    CORC have worked through a logic model with both managerial and front-line staff to identify specifically what change mechanisms underpin the work. Examples of the mechanisms that have been identified as supporting young people to change are that young people feel safe, feel respected and feel listened to. Workshops with staff delivering specific activities have also been held to unpick the outcomes young people can achieve when accessing different aspects of the service. This will allow the right measurement tools to be chosen and ensure the service can monitor interventions for quality and impact. 

    CORC and CYN have worked together to find new ways of delivering this project when face to face meetings and workshops are not possible. Online workshops have been well attended and staff have felt empowered to participate in inclusive discussions; young people engaged through online workshops and short surveys in identifying the change mechanisms, and deciding how change and success should be measured and monitored. Our next steps are to set out and test a measurement framework which can be rolled out to all staff, supported by web-based training.

    "We were delighted when CORC expressed an interest in getting involved in this. Their involvement has enabled us to hold a lens to this vital piece of work and to simplify our approach which at the outset seemed quite daunting and is now an enjoyable process. CORC have enabled us to see where we want to get to and have supported us to create the pathways.  We are getting buy in from our frontline teams, many of whom are now passionate ambassadors for the work." - Jack Beech, Chief Operating Officer, Creative Youth Network

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  • Assessing effectiveness of two service transformation projects in Community Forensic CAMHS and the Secure Estate

    Assessing effectiveness of two service transformation projects in Community Forensic CAMHS and the Secure Estate

    CORC has been working alongside colleagues in the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU) and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF) who have been commissioned by NHS England to evaluate the effectiveness of two Workstream Projects within the Health and Justice and Specialised Commissioning Children and Young People Mental Health Transformation Workstreams. These are being implemented across England as part of the Children and Young People Mental Health Transformation Programme in response to Future in Mind and the Five Year Forward View. 

    The projects involve collecting data from staff, children and young people and parents/guardians from 13 specialist services provided by Community Forensic Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (F:CAMHS) and 19 secure settings across the Children and Young People Secure Estate (SECURE STAIRS).

    The aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of the new Community F:CAMHS service model and the Framework for Integrated Care through a combination of collecting routine service information alongside feedback from children and young people, parents/carers and the staff working in these settings.The first question we want to explore is whether children and young people engaged with Community F:CAMHS and SECURE STAIRS are receiving care where there has previously been gaps in services in a cost effective way, as the findings from the evaluation will feed into commissioning decisions.

    These are three-year funded evaluations during which time we will report to NHS England and aim to disseminate our findings after the close of the evaluation, in 2021. CORC is really pleased to be involved and to share learning in what we are sure are very interesting and worthwhile projects.

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  • Trialing new mental health assessments for looked after children

    Trialing new mental health assessments for looked after children

    CORC, alongside a group of other organisations has been awarded to trial new high quality mental health assessments, that ensure children are assessed at the right time, with a focus on their individual needs as they enter care. Statistics show that 62 per cent of looked after children are in care due to abuse or neglect, which can have a lasting impact on their mental health and emotional wellbeing. Currently half of all children in care meet the criteria for a possible mental health disorder, compared to one in ten children outside the care system. 

    CORC are proving support for the nine pilot sites across the UK to capture an holistic understanding of the mental health and wellbeing strengths, difficulties and needs of children in care. This support focuses upon using a mentalizing approach with the meaningful use of a suite of practice tools (outcome measures), capturing a range of relevant perspectives from across a children’s network, to form this understanding. Our support is for front line practitioners, project leads and Virtual Mental Health Leads to embed the pilot approach and capture the learning arising from it.

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  • Developing a mental health self-assessment tool for UK universities to evaluate their whole institution approach to mental health

    Developing a mental health self-assessment tool for UK universities to evaluate their whole institution approach to mental health

    Universities have seen increases in students disclosing mental disorders and in demand for student mental health support services. In response, Universities UK has published an open access self-assessment tool developed with the Child Outcomes Research Consortium. This self assessment tool has been developed to encourage universities to plan and implement a whole university approach to mental health (of students and of staff), as set out in Stepchange: mentally healthy universities.

    CORC consulted with a range of staff and students on what needs to be included in the audit and how it can be set out to be practical and useful, as well as to align with the content and approach of the Student Minds University Mental Health Charter. Each section of the self-assessment tool reflects the structure of the Stepchange: mentally healthy universities framework and includes sets of questions for university leaders and teams. 

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  • Effectively delivering thinking, practice and research in collaboration with the Anna Freud Centre

    Effectively delivering thinking, practice and research in collaboration with the Anna Freud Centre

    The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF) has been developing and delivering pioneering mental health care for over 60 years. They are leading the way by campaigning for and creating mental health services built around the needs and experiences of children, young people and their families and not around the institutions who deliver them.

    As part of the learning partnership with the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU), CORC are able to mobilise their resources and expertise to effectively deliver the thinking, practice and research to help provide children and young people and families with the right support in a collaborative and innovative way.

    CORC is keen to involve young people more in deciding how we measure young people's mental health and wellbeing. Therefore, we work closely with Young Champions from the Anna Freud Centre to develop video resources to address the issues and questions they have been raising with us regarding the use of outcome and experience measures. We want these videos to be used by other young people, practitioners and researchers. The videos aim to help:

    • connect outcome measures to real life impact
    • help young people and families to understand what they are and why they are useful
    • support CORC members and practitioners to use measures in a way that is meaningful to and valued by young people
    • empower young people to feel that they can ask questions about/give feedback on outcome measures.
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  • Assessing the emotional wellbeing, mental health and resilience of pupils and staff in schools across the country

    Assessing the emotional wellbeing, mental health and resilience of pupils and staff in schools across the country

    Trailblazer areas, including Greater Manchester, Oldham and South West London, as well as other counties, such as Rutland, have chosen to work with CORC in order to assess the emotional wellbeing, mental health and resilience of pupils and staff in their local schools. 

    In collaboration with the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU), we aim to help our project partners in these regions to review and support the wellbeing of their pupils and teaching staff, by providing them with anonymised reports of survey findings. We show the impact of provision on an indidivual school level, across the region and nationwide by comparing the data with data from children in schools around the country. 

    We also measure the impact of specific interventions by developing logic models with providers, establishing expected outcomes and change mechanisms. We advise on appropriate validated tools to measure impact and support the development of data collection processes and how to evaluate impact over time. 

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  • Monitoring and evaluating mental health and wellbeing provision in Mercers' associated schools

    Monitoring and evaluating mental health and wellbeing provision in Mercers' associated schools

    The aim of the project is to support Mercers' associated schools and colleges to monitor and evaluate their provision for their pupil’s mental health and wellbeing. The impetus for this work arose from a common desire from schools and colleges to learn more about the impact that provision is having upon pupils and students and the school or college. The Pupil Wellbeing Project is a collaboration between CORC, the Evidence Based Practice Unit, UCL and the University of Manchester funded by the Mercers' Company. 

    The original project engaged 13 schools (primary and secondary) and colleges across England from 2016-19. The key elements of the evaluation project included the implementation of the Wellbeing Measurement Framework (WMF) survey across selected year groups, ongoing support and guidance for participating sites to develop local evaluation work and in-depth evaluation support from the project team for a number of interventions. Alongside this was a commitment to engage sites in regular workshops to share and discuss national learning about children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, to explore what sites are learning locally and to widen the capabilities of sites to evaluate and make sense of the resulting information.

    Due to the success of the project, funding has been agreed for three years (2019-2022) which will allow us to expand our work with sites to embed routine evaluation and the meaningful use of associated learning to improve services for pupils' and students' mental health and wellbeing.

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  • Measuring wellbeing of pupils and staff in Jewish schools as part of three-year JLC pilot scheme

    Measuring wellbeing of pupils and staff in Jewish schools as part of three-year JLC pilot scheme

    The Community Wellbeing Project is a 3-year JLC-led pilot scheme aimed to address the increasing mental health challenges facing Jewish children and young people today. The scheme is stemming from the advice of an expert panel and commissioned research, which identified that a positive approach to mental health and wellbeing requires an educated partnership between school staff, parents/carers and students. All stakeholders must work together to ensure a culture of wellbeing exists throughout the school. Wellbeing Practitioners are based in pilot schools in London and Manchester to build on existing programmes, run new evidence-based initiatives and work together to share best practices. 

    CORC has been commissioned to evaluate the Community Wellbeing Project. The evaluation will look both at the direct impact on participants of the various interventions included in the Project, and also at the overall impact of the Project in the schools involved. It will deepen understanding of the emotional and mental health needs of the students within the project schools and support schools to make decisions about the support they provide.

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  • Producing implementation manual and providing bespoke training for using routine outcome measures in Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Services

    Producing implementation manual and providing bespoke training for using routine outcome measures in Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Services

    In early 2019, CORC were commissioned by NHS England to develop and produce an implementation manual for using routine outcome measures in the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Services (SPMHS). Twelve workshops were delivered across the country to SPMHS staff and commissioners in early summer 2019 to launch the manual and give an introduction to best practice when using these types of measures and tools. Since then, services have requested bespoke support and training to help them move forward with their own practice, gaining a deeper knowledge and understanding of the measures specific to their service.
     
    Due to the nature of the work done during this period, services could be supporting the service users for up to 24 months post birth (so a potential maximum of 33 months if referred at conception) and therefore the timescales for administering these measures and the changes that will be seen at each timepoint of administration (for example measures collected pre-birth compared to those collected post-birth) will present an extremely diverse and interesting picture of the service user journey.

    CORC are excited to do more work in this area of mental health and welcomes contact from SPMHS who would like to explore further support or bespoke training. For more information please contact CORC at corc@annafreud.org

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  • Examining and advancing best practice in gaining meaningful feedback from children and young people with learning disabilities and their families

    Examining and advancing best practice in gaining meaningful feedback from children and young people with learning disabilities and their families

    CORC are excited to be a collaborator on this British Psychological Society (BPS) funded project. Currently there is no clear consensus about the best ways to measure outcomes and gain meaningful feedback from children and young people with learning disabilities and their families. It is recognised that children and young people with learning disabilities experience higher rates of emotional and behavioural challenges, but are under-represented in research, which emphasises the importance of this project. 

    The aim of the project is to advance and grow ‘best practice’ in gathering feedback and using outcome measures with children and young people with learning disabilities (CYP-LD), their families and networks and is built on previous work in this field completed in 2015 which you can read about on our website. Collaborators will be examining existing data to better understand the use of outcome measures with CYP-LD as well as working with service users and participation groups to gather feedback and deepen understanding.

    CORC will host and participate in the project. Jeni McElwee, Neil Phillips and Ro Rossiter, from the BPS’s Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) Children, Young People and their Families Faculty LD Network will be leading project strands, with Professor Eric Emerson also collaborating. 

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  • Improving the evidence based on what works in helping children get back on track after abuse

    Improving the evidence based on what works in helping children get back on track after abuse

    In January 2018, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) committed funding to improve the evidence based on what works in helping children get back on track after abuse. Specifically, the funding is being used to build evidence about:

    • what sort of help is effective in improving outcomes for children with experience of abuse or neglect, and/or,
    • how the work of an organisation(s) delivering services to children who have experienced abuse or neglect has an impact on the wider child protection system.

    In response to this call for research, CORC have excitingly partnered with Off the Record, a free counselling service, established in 1992, working with children and young people in Tameside and Oldham. Off the Record run an intervention aimed specifically at children and young people who have, or are at the risk of, experience of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and sexual abuse; this is called Time 2 Talk.

    The aim of the qualitative evaluation of Time2Talk was to explore the perspectives of young people, parents and staff members (within Time2Talk and at other services) on the factors contributing to client progress, the impact of Time2Talk, and the factors hindering client progress. 

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  • Exploring "precision medicine" approaches to child and adolescent mental health: predicting treatment outcome and getting to big data

    Exploring "precision medicine" approaches to child and adolescent mental health: predicting treatment outcome and getting to big data

    There is a call for precision medicine whereby child mental health interventions are tailored to meet the specific needs of individual young people. Evidence from other contexts suggests that precision medicine has benefits for effective treatment outcomes and efficient resource use. However, there is a lack of evidence in child mental health about which characteristics of a young person are associated with treatment outcome and resource use - crucial to underpin any precision medicine model. The aim of this research is to address this vital gap and thereby expand the use of data resources for mental health research while at the same time further developing the skills base in this complex field. 

    MQ are supporting this work, through which UCL and CORC are linking data about young people accessing child mental health services from the Mental Health Services Data Set (shared by NHS Digital) to data from the CORC dataset. Anonymity must be maintained throughout and we are linking the datasets using a probabilistic method, working with variables such as gender, care contact date, and organisation/team details. We will draw on this data to explore associations between case-mix characteristics and effective treatment outcomes and efficient resource use.  

    The project will then work with young people, carers and therapists on the best ways of using this type of information in clinical discussions with young people and families. We will be reaching out to our CORC network to contribute to this phase, so please watch this space! For more information in the interim, please contact us at
     corc@annafreud.org.

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