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Evaluation of the University of Kent’s consortium project to explore how technology can support young people in care

Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme Evaluation Report 11

This project, led by the University of Kent, brought together a consortium of technologists, designers and academics to understand how to leverage advances in technology for the benefit of some of the most vulnerable young people in society. Four waves of co-design workshops were conducted with young people, their carers and social workers, to scope out a new digital service for vulnerable young people. By the end of the project, several concepts or early prototypes were produced for potential further development, should the project receive further funding to continue.

The independent evaluation of this project, led by TNS BMRB, consisted of observations of the co-design workshops, follow up interviews, and validation workshops. It had 3 main evaluation aims:

1. To examine the extent to which the outputs from the project were grounded in faithful translation of the views of the young people and carers who took part – i.e. how far the concepts reflected participants’ views and priorities
2. To provide some external validation of the concepts with a fresh audience who had not taken part in the main co-design workshops, by exploring the views of young people and carers on the proposed digital solutions
3. To explore the effectiveness of the process of engaging young people and carers, identifying if possible any impact participation had on those involved in this project