CORC Blog: What does it mean to be part of a learning consortium?

by Lee Atkins

The Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC) is best described as a learning consortium. Both of these words are important and convey a variety of mutual benefits to be involved.

A shared vision for the future

CORC's vision is for all children and young people's wellbeing support to be informed by real-world evidence so that every child thrives. Our members, teams and partners are all committed to improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people and we do this by learning from real-world evidence and feedback and by applying that learning.

Our collective understanding of what works in mental health and wellbeing support is in its infancy and it has been suggested that one day in the near future we shall look back at this era much the same way that we look back at the original mobile phones: the size of a brick, struggling to make a phone call or send a text message and with very limited battery life. Yes they were basic and we can laugh at them now but they paved the way for modern smart phones which we often take for granted. Similarly our evidence base for mental health and wellbeing support is basic but it is advancing thanks to the efforts of numerous researchers, practitioners, service leads, commissioners, policy makers and of course, children and young people.

Our work

Together members of the Consortium and our central and regional teams collect evidence, anaylse corresponding data, publish relevant research and test ideas. Another important aspect of our work is sharing the learning from these activities amongst ourselves and with others so that everyone involved in children and young people's mental health can benefit from it. CORC and our members are passionate about providing opportunities to share, discuss and reflect upon the latest findings or insights.

Exploring the full picture

In order to reflect the diversity of practice and evidence in the mental health and wellbeing arena, we make a significant effort to involve a wide range of services, organisations and professionals in the sharing of learning. We recognise the importance of the work that is being delivered in schools, in the community, by charities, small enterprises and others, and the associated learning potential. Yes, Surf Therapy is a thing and there are services across the UK that base their support around skateboards, animals and lots more; we endeavour to incorporate their experience and insight into our collective learning.

Join us in our mission

Are you part of our learning consortium? Have you got experience that could be shared to advance our collective understanding? Or a research need? From developing on outcomes framework to interpreting and disseminating outcomes data, from best practice using outcome measures to engaging children and young people in outcomes discussions.

Join us in our mission to improve children and young people's mental health and wellbeing. The team at CORC want to work with you. We can support you to better understand outcomes, to capture data and to use the data to inform your work. We want to understand the evidence and to share what we learn. To allow us to reach out and engage with you, we recently announced new membership options, ranging from full membership to free Network membership.

Please have a look at our exciting new website and learn more about what we do, access useful resources, read the latest research findings and become a member!

We look forward to having you on board.

Lee Atkins is a CORC Regional Improvement Support Officer. To get in touch with him or anyone at CORC, please contact corc@annafreud.org.