Over the last few years, Harmeny has been involved in developing an Outcomes Framework for measuring children’s outcomes. We have done this in collaboration with a number of other residential education providers who are members of EtCS (Educating through Care Scotland), the network of residential education providers in Scotland.

The Outcomes Framework is mapped to Scotland’s Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) approach and Curriculum for Excellence. It was piloted over 18 months and was independently evaluated by CELCIS (Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland) through their core funding from the Scottish Government. The evaluation concluded that the pilot was very successful and the framework materials have been updated in light of the learning gained.

The framework comprises a set of materials which key staff will use to regularly measure the progress of an individual child’s outcomes, in partnership with the child, family and key professionals. The purpose of the framework is to provide evidence to funders regarding the effectiveness of our approaches in relation to helping children achieve key outcomes, as well as provide the opportunity to reflect on what works and what we might do differently.

The core outcomes for children placed at Harmeny are as follows:

  1. Successful transition to appropriate destination*
  2. Progress in learning (core and other curricular areas, personal development)
  3. Improved ability to express feelings
  4. Improved self regulation
  5. Increased confidence
  6. Improved and sustained relationships

(* Whilst a key outcome is to enable children to return to a secure, nurturing family environment and a school within the local community, it is worth noting, that returning home or to the community, may not always be the right outcome for every child and the provision of high quality residential care, for some children, may be a more positive option.)

We are currently considering how best to roll out the framework across the whole school and this will include integrating an outcomes-focused approach into our planning and assessment processes, as well as developing meaningful reporting for a number of stakeholders. Our plan is to begin the full implementation of the outcomes framework in August 2018.

For a copy of the EtCS Outcomes Framework Manual contact the EtCS Coordinator at info@etcs.org.uk and for a copy of the CELCIS Evaluation Report contact CELCIS at celcis@strath.ac.uk