Our Spring Seminars aim to bring you the latest learning from CORC members and our partners and collaborators. In previous years, we began to discuss with attendees what research can tell us about whether children and young people are being helped by mental health services and how we respond and define outcome data. This year, we continued on this journey with you by providing opportunities to hear about innovative practice, recent research and CORC member data and to consider how this might apply in your own setting. 

The seminars are open to mental health and education professionals, service leads, young people and parents and anyone else interested in innovative research and dissemination practices in child and youth mental health.


1st CORC Spring Seminar: Promoting equality and diversity in feedback and outcome measures for children and young people with learning disabilities

12th May 2021

Presented by CORC Programme Manager – Nick Tait and Dr Rowena Rossiter, Tizard Centre, University of Kent

We shared findings of recent research into current practice and provided recommendations for which outcome measures to use with children and young people with learning disabilities. We also provided attendees with some good practice examples and case study evidence from various services working with children and young people, especially those with severe or multiple and profound learning disabilities. Attendees had the opportunity to share and reflect upon their own practice regarding what works well and how to integrate good practice going forward. 

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2nd CORC Spring Seminar: The implications of differences in improvement rates for different mental health outcome measures: what should influence the choice of measurement tools?

19th May 2021

Presented by CORC Research Lead - Dr Jenna Jacob and Barbara Hills, CAMHS Quality Facilitator at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership

CORC Research Lead - Dr Jenna Jacob and Barbara Hills, CAMHS Quality Facilitator at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership, shared findings from recent analysis of the CORC data set, which highlights how the amount of change seen in outcome varies across different measurement tools. Attendees heard about the journey of CORC member service Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership in determining which measurement tools were a fit for their service and for the children and young people using their service. The session was very interactive and opened up discussions with participants about what factors are important in the decision making process when choosing and using outcome measures; and what happens if consistent and/or common outcome measures are implemented in your service? 

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3rd CORC Spring Seminar: Engaging young people to improve their experiences of outcome measurement

26th May 2021

Presented by CORC Youth Engagement Officer Rachel Piper and Young Champions from the Anna Freud Centre

‘It's the young person’s treatment. So I need to make sure I will work alongside them.’ - Session attendee at our Spring Seminar

As a part of our Spring Seminar series, we hosted a workshop on ‘Engaging young people to improve their experiences of outcome measurement’. This workshop was for anyone who wanted to learn more about listening to young people’s experiences of mental health service outcome measures.

We heard from a Young Champion about her experiences of outcome measures and the benefits of co-production. She spoke to the importance of the process of selecting measures with young people, and co-producing measures; emphasising the importance of thinking about measures collaboratively. We heard about the importance of using appropriate measures according to personal preference, and being creative within any constraints. One key take-away was on remembering ultimately measures are there to serve young people. Active listening, that is asking curious questions and exploring with the aim to understand is an essential part of ensuring measures are used collaboratively.

We then had presentations from the CORC team on the benefits of engaging young people (you can see more details in the slides below). For those looking to produce an action plan on engaging young people on outcome measures, it can be helpful to understand what level you are working at. Are you hoping to co-produce research that informs outcome measures? To co-produce outcome measurement tools? To keep the same tools but co-produce the experience of the outcome measure delivery? To gather feedback on the experience of outcome measures? Having clarity on where you hope to have influence can support effective and meaningful work with young people.

Our regional officer Sally Marriott presented on developing an Outcomes Framework to be used across the whole organisation, based off working with the Creative Youth Network. You can see more details about that in the slides below. This was followed by a discussion between members reflecting on their current practice of engaging young people on outcome measures, where they would like their practice to grow, any barriers that needed to be overcome, and where they would like their work in this area to grow.

We had fruitful discussions about importance of measures being meaningful to young people. For example, one area in which it is relatively simple to make effective changes in in how the measure is shared, for example by incorporating reflecting on answers to the measure into the conversation. One participant suggested that practice this can easily be a part of an induction/training and service improvement plan.

A thread that ran throughout the conversations was a perceived tension between validated and standardized measures that are used for research, and those that would be meaningful in practice. Whilst this tension can exist, co-production or collaborative choice of a measure doesn’t mean that a measure has to be less through or less useful for research purposes. Measures ultimately exist to serve the young person, and can, in the long term, promote research into topics that it is most relevant, thus improving outcomes and the effectiveness of services. Overall, engaging with young people is an essential part of any service’s use of outcome measures.

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Improving communication between service users and services - presenting co-developed video with Young Champions from the Anna Freud Centre

Practitioners in mental health often use questionnaires to understand more about different aspects of young people's mental health, to measure problems or strengths, or to track how they change over time. How do young people relate to filling in outcome questionnaires? In this video project some of the mental health practitioners in CORC member services and Young Champions from the Anna Freud Centre have shared their views.

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