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Evaluating group work for supporting the emotional wellbeing of young people in care: Assisting young people in care

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Una Marie Foye, Emily Satinsky, Camilla Rosan, Josefien Breedvelt

Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunity Practitioner
Volume91
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this evaluation is to explore the acceptability and impact of using group work to support the emotional wellbeing and mental health of young people in care. Method: Using a topic guide, young people completed semi-structured interviews about their experiences taking part in the group-based programme. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Findings: The analysis found that engagement in group work positively impacted young people’s confidence, wellbeing, feelings of connectedness, and aspirations for their future. Secondary outcomes were observed in participants’ engagement with education and school activities, as well as within their home lives. Implications: The findings of this project have implications for how youth services may approach design and engagement when working with young people in care. The relationship-based group activities had a positive impact on participants, providing early evidence that this approach is valuable in a youth work setting. It is important to note the small sample size and potential selection bias. Thus, future programmes should follow more rigorous research methods to provide evidence for positive outcomes and to validate the model. Value: This paper provides original value to the field as a primary focus was placed on understanding the experiences of young people in care in such groups, as well as exploring the impact on the foster home and school. This innovative project and approach to evaluation provide valuable insight that can help shape future work in this area.

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