The Supporting People Outcomes Framework. Where are we now? Where are we going? Having developed 11 Outcome measures in 2009 and piloted the ‘SP outcomes framework’ in 12 Local Authority areas in Wales it has now been decided by the Welsh Government that Outcomes collection will become a mandatory part of the Supporting People programme from April 2012. Following the Aylward review’s recommendation that a more robust approach should be adopted to evidence the outcomes of the SP programme and less emphasis placed on measuring process we felt confident that we were moving in the right direction. We listened to feedback from both Support Providers and SP teams in the pilot areas and it was generally felt that the scaling questions of ‘achieved’, ‘partially achieved’ and ‘not achieved’ were not useful for reporting outcomes and that further measures should be added As such The Outcomes Delivery Group tasked a sub-group to reword this scale. Whilst the exact wording to be used has yet to be agreed the new scale is likely to look similar to the following and will contain 5 scaling questions.... 1. The goal for the service user at this stage is to prevent or minimise harm to the service user and to others and to develop trust with the service user. At this stage the service user may be unwilling to discuss this area of their life or may be difficult to engage. Service users at this stage should be supported in preventing the situation from getting ‘any worse’ until progression in this area can begin. 2. At this stage the service user may be willing to discuss this area of their life however, may be unclear of how to make any progress in this area and need considerable support from their support worker in order to take the next steps. The service may be being supporting the service user to increase stability and give them access to resources that may help them set their goal. Service users may need considerable support in order to get them to accept that they can control this area of their life. This may be the case where support is in its initial stages whereby due to a range of factors e,g risk, crisis impacts, health, understanding, prioritisation of support issues, the support worker may be taking the lead in a number of life areas. 3. At this stage the service user will have started to believe that they can make a difference to this area of their life and will accept the use of specific, time-bound goals in order to achieve their expected outcome in this area. This stage should focus on encouraging the service user to work towards achievable goals on their own, whilst providing support if they should need it but not ‘doing for them’. Service users should be supported to reflect on what has gone well and positively supported when things haven’t gone so well. 4. The service user should be supported to deal with difficulties themselves and to become more selfreliant and knowledgeable of how to seek support from an organisation without their support worker. 5. The service user should now be able to manage most issues in this area on their own. They should be accessing services without their support worker the majority of the time and should be supported to understand when/if they need extra support in this area. The service user should now feel that they are confident enough to start to supporting themselves in dealing with issues in this area of their life. In long-term services The service user will accept that they may always need support in this area but they are maintaining their optimum level of independence in achieving their goal or preventing a loss of optimum independence by having long term support. The Outcomes Framework scaling measures are designed to capture the ‘Journey of Change’ – and are intended to be a scale outlining the key steps in a transition from dependence to independence or maintenance (in longer term services). It’s not perfect but…… We are starting to be able to collect information about what support workers are doing to help service users to reach their goals and to concentrate less on how they do it and what forms they fill in This enables us to present ‘real’ service user stories to stakeholders and to understand where barriers must be overcome to improve services and provide as seamless a service as possible to service users. There is recognition from the Outcomes Delivery group that the outcomes framework should seen as an ‘opener’ to having meaningful conversations between SP teams and support providers to uncover how outcomes can be improved for service users or to share best practice. The framework can not be used as a stand alone tool. The Welsh Government will still require that data around voids, equalities etc be returned to them via the local Collaborative Committee, this information will be used at a local and national level for planning and to demonstrate ongoing need for services. It is also expected that the Steering Group will recommend the commissioning of a robust programme of external research. This is likely to be a longitudinal study to be conducted over a 7 year period and to concentrate on; the effectiveness of the programme, the social return on investment and the lasting impact of services on people/communities. Cymorth Cymru and the SPIN co-ordinator are supporting the national roll-out of the Outcomes Framework by facilitating a number of events to be held regionally where best practice can be shared, awareness raised and questions can be answered where needed. All LA’s and Support Providers will be contacted about these events very soon.