Outcomes Star resources

Measuring outcomes can help your organisation to evidence the impact that it has on your clients, your community and the sector as a whole. The approach can help with funding applications, reports to commissioners, media coverage, service reviews, quality assurance and improve service user involvement. Homeless Link offers a range of tools, training and support options to assist your organisation to implement an outcomes based approach to its work with clients, ranging from access to free on-line tools through to offering a full consultancy support package (consultancy package rates available on request).

THE OUTCOMES STAR

The Outcomes Star is an interactive tool for use with clients to chart progress in a number of areas of life such as self care, mental and physical health, substance use, meaningful use of time and offending. There are 10 areas for exploration and keyworkers and clients work together on scales that can be used to make a visual 'Star' image of the person's present situation, to be compared with new Stars in a few months time. The Star was developed by Triangle Consulting, originally for St Mungo’s, and subsequently widely tested and revised for the London Housing Foundation. Homeless Link has taken over this system as part of the Outcomes Programme funded by the LHF.

You can download the Outcomes Star for free and use the guidelines provided to implement the system within your organisation yourselves. The Homeless Outcomes website features the Star, the accompanying ladders to explain the Star points and comprehensive guides for staff and clients in its use.

TRAINING - USING THE OUTCOMES STAR

This practical course will both train participants to use the Star with clients and also equip them to train others. It includes modules on making use of the data the system generates for service improvement. The course features include:

  • understanding the outcomes approach – who benefits?
  • the Journey of Change – supporting and recording distance travelled
  • using the Star with clients – how to integrate the approach in keywork
  • using the Star System to input and retrieve data on soft outcomes
  • making use of the data for service improvement
  • making it work for your organisation – tips for keyworkers and managers.

TRAINING OPTIONS

Training techniques are varied and hands-on, and full training notes and guidance will be available. The day includes a planning session to take lessons forward.

One day training: Book your place now.

In-house training: The trainers from Homeless Link can come to you if London is not convenient. Training sessions can be personalised according to the needs of your organisation.

OUTCOMES AND INTERVENTIONS CONSULTANCY PACKAGE

We can provide a package consisting of both tailored consultancy and in-house training support, with the core aim being to provide staff with the tools and skills needed to provide evidence of the outcomes and impact of your work with service users. We will also conduct a review of the interventions undertaken, to provide you with qualitative information on ‘what works’ for your service users.

Sample Package Outline

Stage 1 - Provide overview of Outcomes Star (benefits, tools, support provided etc)

  • Method – Attendance and presentation at staff meeting, presentation to Board meeting and provision of information packs for all internal stakeholders
  • Outcome - Increased understanding of the outcomes approach and buy in from the board and staff at all levels of the organisation.

Stage 2 - Provide training for staff members on how to use the Outcomes Star

  • Method – Set up and deliver training sessions (for up to 16 staff members per session), to be delivered in house.
  • Outcome – Staff who have attended the training feel confidant to pass on their knowledge to colleagues. Staff have a good knowledge of the outcomes approach and how to use the outcomes star in their work with service users and can use the on-line outcomes star system.

Stage 3 - Review of current service delivery, policies, procedures and recording systems in place resulting in the identification of processes and systems that will be replaced by Outcomes Star and of those that can be integrated.

  • Method - Staff consultation, desktop review of systems, development of action plan. Telephone support around sign up to the national on-line Outcomes Star System and implementation.
  • Outcome - Development of an action plan for the organisation, to guide the implementation of the Outcomes Star across its work with service users and in supervision of frontline staff. The organisation and its frontline workers are signed up to the Outcomes Star System.

Stage 4 – Identification of the interventions that have made a difference for service users and what further interventions are needed.

  • Method - Focus groups / individual interviews with service users and staff
  • Outcome - Service user consultation, staff consultation, identification and review of interventions resulting in change

Stage 5 – Analysis of the consultation responses

  • Method – Desktop development
  • Outcome – Interim report identifying successful interventions, gaps and any initial recommendations for service change / improvement

Stage 6 – 2nd Identification of the interventions that have made a difference and what further interventions are needed.

  • Method - Focus groups / individual interviews with service users and staff
  • Outcome - Service user consultation, staff consultation, identification and review of interventions resulting in change, review of the success / impact of the Star system

Stage 7 – Analysis of the Outcome Star data and the consultation responses, mapping of interventions and resulting changes where possible.

  • Method – Desktop development, extraction of data from Outcomes Star system
  • Outcome – Presentation of final report identifying successful interventions and gaps, analysis of the data from the Outcome Star system, recommendations for improvement and highlighting good practice.

Dependant on the size of your organisation - this package can be delivered utilising from as little as 17 consultancy days over a 12 month period; including the direct contact days, resource days for the desk based work and 1 day of staff training.

The telephone support element around sign up to the on-line Outcomes Star System will not be charged for as this is support that Homeless Link is funded to provide and therefore can be provided as an added value aspect of the package.

By the end of the project, organisations will have undergone a change and review process and will have implemented the Outcomes Star across the organisation. Our intention is to equip the organisation with the skills and tools required to undertake this review process in the future, including being able to extract and analyse date on outcomes to support future sustainability.

This is just one option for the delivery of an outcomes based consultancy support package. We can tailor a package to suit your needs and include elements such as action planning and additional training.

Further Information

For more information on Homeless Link’s consultancy services, contact Claire Beckett, our Consultancy & Training Manager on 020 7840 4453 or on email.