Chance UK’s early intervention mentoring programme has been selected to undergo a rigorous evaluation in order to determine its impact on children’s behaviour and emotional wellbeing.
The Social Research Unit (SRU) at Dartington will conduct the experimental evaluation, called a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT), which is the best method for finding out whether a service really achieves it aims. This RCT is called the ECHO project (Evidence for Children’s Outcomes) and will be finishing in December 2016. Chance UK will be working with exactly the same number of children during the ECHO project.
Any child referred to us that meets our eligibility criteria has a 50/50 chance of being offered our service as usual. To ensure a fair process SRU conducts the 50/50 allocation by randomly assigning eligible children to one of two groups:
1. Comparison group – who are able to access any other non-mentoring services
2. Mentoring group – who will receive the service as usual Both groups need the child’s school contact and their parent/carer’s consent in order to be involved in the study and report on the child’s outcomes over time.
SRU collect questionnaire data from both groups getting the perspectives of each child’s parent/carer and their school at three time points over approximately 15 months. At the end of the evaluation, the level of change in children’s behaviour and emotional wellbeing in each group will be compared in order to demonstrate what benefit receiving the programme has for these outcomes. It’s important to note that both groups are equally important for the success of the project. SRU has expertise in conducting randomised controlled trials and the research design has been approved by an independent ethics committee.
Read A letter from Chance UK about the ECHO Project (for referrers)