Health Opportunities Team’s approach to working with young people comes from an attachment-promoting perspective. We have developed two therapeutic approaches to help young people overcome trauma, deal with difficult feelings and find healthy ways to cope with how they feel:
is a therapeutic one-to-one service – the programme is flexible to meet the needs of individual young people and is suitable to support those who are experiencing mental/emotional/sexual health difficulties. We have found it beneficial for very vulnerable young people because it works around chaotic lifestyles which some young people experience and it can be delivered at a venue (such as a school or secure unit) which suits the young person. This programme can be short-term or long-term to offer support during periods of crisis and it supports young people to make changes in their behaviour or to manage their feelings.
Social Education Plus (SE+)
This is a therapeutic group work programme which is delivered over an 8 to 10 week period. It can be an issue-based (e.g. dealing with anxiety, low mood, self-harming, eating difficulties or improving self-esteem and social skills). It aims to support young people to explore how they feel and find healthy strategies to cope. It can also be combined with specialist sexual health and relationships education, or risk-taking programme for young people who may have experienced trauma.
Linking to our therapeutic work, we also offer training and consultation services to professionals who work with young people, to increase confidence, knowledge and skills in attachment-promoting practice. We can also provide therapeutic supervision for professionals who provide therapeutic services to young people. We can develop bespoke education and health promotion services – around a range of sexual/emotional health and risk-taking topics to meet the needs of young people that you work with.
How We Evaluate Our Services
We use a variety of evaluation methods to ensure our programmes are effective. We collect information using online forms to make it more young-person-friendly and easy to collate and analyse. We evaluate each piece of work using the following forms:
- A job sheet to collect quantitative information (numbers of individuals and contacts),
- An equalities measure to collect information on age, gender, sexuality, housing situation, ethnic group, religion, work or study status and disability,
- A session evaluation to measure the enjoyment of sessions and any learning,
- YP Core, a nationally validated measure of distress before and after therapeutic support. Scores over 25 indicate that a young person could benefit from some support,
- A GIRFEC measure developed by HOT to measure young people’s well-being against the GIRFEC indicators, before and after therapeutic support,
- An end of programme questionnaire, collecting information from both young people and referrer to measure any noticed changes in behaviour and feelings after support,
- A training evaluation which collects participants views of any increases in their skill, knowledge and confidence.
The Effectiveness of our Therapeutic Services
We have found our therapeutic services to be very effective in supporting young people over many years (more detailed evaluation reports are available on request). We have found that increases in confidence and more healthy coping strategies are maintained at least over the medium term, as young people feel more empowered by being more able to manage their feelings.
Last year (2015-16) our evaluation showed that 98% of young people who had participated in our one-to-one service had found it useful.
“In my experience, Health Opportunities Team provides a much-needed service to the Young People I work with. The Young People are some of the most damaged and vulnerable in the community due to their life experiences. The fact that the Young People we support engage willingly with the HOT Team is proof that the service they provide is helpful/useful” (Residential Care Officer).
“For our team and the young people we support the service is invaluable. The one to one counselling in the unit is exceptional. This enables young people to feel safe and provide additional support. The feedback we have received from young people is one of confidence and being able to speak to a familiar face confidentially in an environment that they are comfortable in supports young people getting the help they need. The team feel that this is a service that we rely on” (Unit Manager).
“Support has shown me the fact that I’m able to go without self-harming and shown me other ways to cope. I don’t worry so much and now have other ways to channel my anger. Home and school are better” (Young Person, age 14).
Results – Turn Around 1-1
The graph below shows the average reduction in distress for young people who took part in the Turn Around one-to-one programme (15-16):
Results – SE+
The graph shows the reduction in distress for young people who took part in the SE+ therapeutic group work programme (15-16):
Results – Professionals
The graph below shows increases in perceived skill, knowledge and confidence for professionals after taking part in one of our training programmes:
HOT offers several costing models for buying services. We can offer one-off, short-term or longer-term programmes. The costs for these are as follows:
- £66 for one worker per hour (for short sessions or programmes of a few hours)
- £348 for one worker per day, (for sessions or programmes over a term)
- £320 for one worker per day, (for sessions or programmes over a year).
- ‘We can provide our therapeutic one-to-one support to young people privately. The cost for this is £50 per hour and sessions must be paid for in advance in 4 session blocks’.
Targets would be set according to the time purchased. In one day we can provide a maximum of 5 one-to-one sessions or two group work sessions