This report sets out the findings of a mixed-methods pilot evaluation for Future YOU, a mentoring intervention for students with experience of Children’s Social Care. The project was open to all 16- to 19-year-olds enrolled at Havant and South Downs College (HSDC) with experience of social care (CSC) in the past six years. Participants were to receive weekly one-to-one mentoring sessions, structured around four learning modules hosted on a Google Site: social skills, emotional skills, digital skills and career skills. Twenty-one students took part in at least one mentoring session across the academic year, and 13 students completed baseline and endline surveys, while three participated in case studies. Future YOU was funded by WWCSC in the 2021/22 academic year and delivered by Havant and South Downs College (HSDC) across their three campuses.
WWCSC commissioned The Policy Institute at King’s College London to conduct a pilot evaluation of the intervention.
Objectives and method
The pilot evaluation has included repeated surveys, interviews with college staff and participants, as well as an analysis of administrative data. It aimed to answer the following research questions:
This pilot evaluation was a mixed-methods study, aiming to assess feasibility, promise and readiness for trial of Future YOU.
Evidence of feasibility
- To what extent was the intervention delivered as intended and in what ways does implementation vary?
- What are the primary factors that facilitate and hinder implementation of Future YOU?
Evidence of promise
- Is there evidence to support the mechanisms of change identified in the logic model?
- What potential impacts of the intervention do students and staff identify?
Readiness for trial
- What changes would be required to prepare Future YOU for scaling and further evaluation?
The uptake of the intervention was lower than expected and so it was not possible to quantitively assess Future YOU, as originally planned. However, through the qualitative data collected through the interview conducted, the intervention was viewed as a helpful addition of support to HSDC students. Students who participated in mentoring appreciated this practical support, with students speaking of receiving help to resolve issues with their benefits, housing, timetabling and course work. Further, students spoke of less tangible benefits, such as increased confidence, motivation, and the importance of having someone at college who they felt like cared about them.