Falkirk Council have established a project funded through the Big Lottery Fund to provide a peer mentoring service for young people who are at the point of leaving care, to provide support through their transition to living in a housing tenancy. The project had two major objectives:
1) To enhance the confidence of young care leavers to live in and sustain a home of their choice
2) To enhance self-esteem, their sense of their own potential to make a positive contribution, and their ability to build positive future plans.
The council has requested a qualitative evaluation of the project, focused on these two aims. We propose conducting individual interviews with between 10 and 15 young care leavers, about their experience of participation in the mentoring scheme. This will use a blend of semi-structured walking interviews, and photo elicitation. Young people will be supported to reflect on:
How they feel about housing, and whether the project has enhanced their ability to take responsibility for their housing
Their skills in budgeting and managing money
Their perceptions of their coping strategies, and particularly how they experience and manage social isolation.
The impact of mentoring and being mentored on self esteem and on knowledge relating to housing and independent living.
Their experiences of supporting others
Their feelings about the future, and future aspirations.
Interviews will be conducted by a research assistant, transcribed, and analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (Smith et al, 2003). The research assistant will be supported by Professor Callaghan who will design the research, and will support the writing of the project report for the funders.
Project time line:
September 2018 - Secure Ethical Approval
October 2018 - Begin interviews
October 2018 - Begin transcription and analysis
October 2019 - Complete interviews (minimum 10 maximum 10 children and young people)
December 2019 - Complete analysis of interviews
Jan 2020-Mar 2020 - Write draft report (approximately 20 pages), present to Falkirk Council
March 2020 - Submit Final Project report