Young people with social care experience have been found to have worse education outcomes than their peers and are at high risk of mental health challenges.
This project aims to evaluate the impact of 1:1 Creative Mentoring sessions for young people aged 15-18. Creative Mentoring is an initiative set up by the organisation, The Mighty Creatives (TMC). Young people will receive up to 24 hours of mentoring over 3 months. Eligible young people referred onto the programme will be identified by the local authority/virtual schools as being Children Looked After (CLA) or Care Leavers (CL).The creative mentors will work with young people to build social and personal skills with the aim of improving engagement with education and emotional wellbeing. Through this pathway, the Creative Mentoring programme ultimately hopes to reduce the likelihood of care-experienced young people finding themselves Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET).
TMC’s Creative Mentoring intervention will extend a pilot of the Creative Mentoring programme established by the Derbyshire Virtual School. Interim findings from the pilot’s evaluation reported positive outcomes for young people on the programme including increased social skills, particularly regarding forming positive adult relationships, the development of general life skills as well as artistic and creative skills, and showed improved participation, engagement, and confidence through Creative Mentoring.
This trial will be the first randomised controlled trial (RCT) of the Creative Mentoring intervention. This trial will be a ‘mixed-methods’ randomised controlled trial utilising both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods and outcome measures from randomly allocated sets of treatment and control participants. This project aims to recruit approximately 240 young people across 8 participating Local Authorities. The treated individuals/ intervention arm participants will receive 24 hours of Creative Mentoring over 12 weeks, while the control group will not receive Creative Mentoring but will continue to receive any other business-as-usual support they are eligible for. The intervention will consist of:
- Creative mentors delivering weekly 1:1 sessions with young people where creative activities are used for social and personal development.
- Creative mentors using an outcomes-focussed approach to goal setting with young people, goals are periodically reviewed and updated.
- Young people engaging in group activities with other care-experienced young people, facilitated by creative mentors and TMC.
- Creative mentors take young people on excursions to explore new interests or experiences. (Covid-19 guidelines permitting)
TMC will provide supervision, training and professional support to mentors, as well as facilitating peer support between mentors.
A cost evaluation will also be conducted as part of the main report on findings. The cost evaluation will measure both expected expenditure on the programme, as well as unexpected costs or the value of unbudgeted resources that have been utilised for Creative Mentoring.
Mentoring sessions will take place in a young person’s school, home or a community setting. Due to ongoing restrictions because of COVID-19, some session may also take place remotely.
The evaluation of the mentoring sessions will be conducted from April – November 2021 with outcome data to be received at the end of the AY 2021/2022.