Summary of IRNZ Projects 2020
Skylight Trust – Travellers Programme Pilot of Two New Screening Tools
Previous research conducted by IRNZ NZ Ltd evaluated the effectiveness of the Travellers Programme. Desktop research using both national and international literature identified significant domains of youth wellbeing. A key finding of the research indicated that the concepts and experiences of wellbeing differed significantly between Westernise, Māori and Pasifika youth.
As a result of these findings IRNZ Ltd was commissioned by Skylight Trust to conduct a pilot study of two new screening tools (the General Wellbeing Screening Tool and the Cultural Wellbeing Screening Tool) and a new post-programme evaluation tool.
Each screening tool followed the intent and structure of the original Travellers Wellbeing Survey as both screening tools contained questions that related to demographic information, feelings of self-worth, the number of schools attended in the last 5 year, a Life Events scale and a Distress scale. The Life Events scale asked high school students to indicate the extent to which a number of life events (e.g. death of family member or close friend, loss of an important friendship) had impacted on their lives. Only items on the Distress scale varied between the General and Cultural Wellbeing Screening Tools. These focused on identified domains of wellbeing in Westernised, Māori and Pasifika youth for example, the Cultural Wellbeing Screening Tool included questions that related to cultural practices and beliefs. The new post-programme evaluation tool reflected questions contained in both screening tools. The results indicated that the questions contained in the two new Wellbeing Screening Tools were appropriate for students to answer and provided a wide range of responses. The selection criteria based on the original Travellers programme was able to categorise and identify students that would benefit from participating in the Travellers Programme.
Skylight Trust - Travellers Programme Synthesis Report
Impact Research NZ Ltd was commissioned by Skylight Trust to present a synthesis of key findings emerging from a series of four previous research and evaluation reports and to provide suggestions for the future direction of the Travellers Programme. A Theory of Change for the Travellers programme was developed as a result of a workshop held at Skylight with selected staff and facilitators.
The overall findings from four previous reports and the relevant activities of the Travellers programme were used to provide a context for the assumptions and short-term outcomes to inform the Theory of Change which was used to guide its future direction.
Youthline Helpline Community Development Programme Review
Youthline was established in 1970 to ensure that young people (12-25 years old) in New Zealand were able to access support during their times of need. For the past 50 years, Youthline has provided a range of services and programmes in support of positive personal development for youth. In addition, they offer services to whānau/families and the wider community who support young people.
Impact Research NZ Ltd (IRNZ Ltd) was commissioned by Youthline to conduct a review of the Youthline Helpline Community Development (YHCD) programme from the perspectives of current and alumni Youthline Helpline Volunteers.
The objectives of this evaluation were:
- To explore ways in which the lives of current Youthline Helpline volunteers have been impacted through training and service delivery.
- To seek the views of alumni Youthline Helpline volunteers on their immediate, short-term and medium-term outcomes, in addition to longer-term impacts on themselves, their family, friends and their communities.
- To seek the views of current and alumni YH volunteers on the future development of Youthline and the YHCD programme.
Qualitative and quantitative data was collected from both current and alumni Youthline Helpline Volunteers. Documentation from Youthline provided a context for this review.
- A selected group of current Youthline Helpline volunteers participated in a focus group. Information was gathered to explore the extent to which Youthline had: met their diversity and inclusion needs; their most challenging experienced as a Youthline Helpline volunteer; the influence of volunteering on their future career decisions; and suggestions for ongoing support provision.
- The views of alumni Youthline Helpline volunteers were also sought via an online survey. Information was gathered to explore: their motivations for becoming a volunteer; the extent to which they felt supported in the role; the most challenging experiences as a volunteer; factors that impacted their lives and maintained their commitment to their role; the extent to which they felt able to ability to manage their own and close others challenging issues; and factors driving their decision to exit from their role. Opinions were also sought around the extent to which volunteering had impacted on the wider community and suggestions for potential future developments for Youthline.
- The views of a selected group of alumni Youthline Helpline volunteers were sought via telephone interviews. These explored their motivations for becoming a volunteer for Youthline, the effectiveness of the training for their role; the most challenging aspects of their role; factors that maintained their commitment to their role; and the impact of their volunteering on their own lives, the lives of their family and friends and the wider community.
- The views of other alumni Youthline Helpline volunteers were sought via an email questionnaire. Information was gathered to explore factors that maintained their commitment to their role and decisions to exit from the service; the influence of volunteering for future career pathways and further volunteering for other organisations; feeling of connection to the wider community as a result of their volunteering; and suggestions for potential future developments for Youthline.
An overall report provided a high-level synthesis of key findings. The results provided Youthline with information on how well the programme met the needs of Helpline volunteers and prepared them for their role; aspects of their role in which they felt most challenged; the impact of volunteering for volunteers, their family and friends and in the wider community. Suggestions to inform the future direction of Youthline were documented.
Youthline’s Community Impact Review 2020
Impact Research NZ Ltd (IRNZ Ltd) was commissioned by Youthline to conduct a review of the impact that Youthline’s services has had on the wider community.
The objectives of the review were to:
- Gather stakeholders’ views on Youthline services, its impact in the community and its future development.
- Review Youthline data demonstrating service usage.
- Present Youthline data compared with Colmar Brunton’s 2019 ‘State of the Generation’ report.
- Explore Youthline’s role in the mental health sector and the youth development sector.
Qualitative and quantitative data was collected from representatives of Youthline stakeholder organisations who participated in a telephone interview. Youthline provided their Helpline data to IRNZ Ltd to enable aspects of service usage to be analysed and compared with the results of a survey of New Zealand youth presented in the Colmar Brunton’s 2019 ‘State of the Generation’ report.
- Representatives from Youthline’s stakeholder organisations participated in telephone interviews. Information was gathered to explore: the relationship between stakeholder organisations and Youthline; knowledge of Youthline’s services; stakeholders’ opinions of the impact of Youthline’s services on Youthline volunteers, youth who engage with services and the wider community; opinions of the position of Youthline within the mental health sector and the youth development sector; and suggestions for the future development of Youthline.
An overall report provided a high-level synthesis of key findings. Youthline were provided with the views of their stakeholders on the effectiveness of their relationships with them; the impact of the services that they provide for Helpline volunteers; the key impacts they have had on youth/rangatahi and their whānau that utilise their services; and the key impacts they have had in the wider community. An analysis of Youthline Helpline data identified the volumes of service usage and most significant presenting issues of those that contact the Helplines. A comparison of presenting issues identified by the research was compared with data from the Colmar Brunton 2019 “State of the Generation” report that highlighted significant areas that challenged youth in New Zealand/Aotearoa. A landscape analysis of organisations that provide Youth Development programmes and support was also undertaken and was used to compare a range of service offerings provided by Youthline. These key findings will be used to inform Youthline’s future direction.