PRESS RELEASE: Cambridge Evaluation Report
Posted 19th May 2023
Cambridge Evaluation report: The effectiveness of the psychological framework underpinning the House Project approach in supporting young people leaving care
Academics from Universities around the UK have worked closely with The National House Project (NHP), Local House Projects (LHP) and young people to examine the implementation and effectiveness of the psychological framework that underpins the practice of NHP. The study, funded by the Department for Education (DfE) Innovation Programme, considered the fidelity of NHP’s approach, what happens through practice, and how different practices relate to outcomes for young people.
The study was led by Dr Joel Harvey who worked with young people and staff at five LHPs; focussing on what it is like for young people to be part of a LHP, how staff work with young people to help them in their lives and the psychological approach that supports the work.
NHP are working across 20 Local Authorities with a community of 600 young people, 330 of whom have had planned and supported moves into their own home. To date there have been no tenancy breakdowns or evictions. Working in collaboration with key stakeholders, staff, and young people, the research explored how the psychologically informed approach is involved in improving outcomes for young people leaving care, and how this is supported by the ORCHIDS practice framework.
The report noted; “We found substantial evidence of young people making positive developmental outcomes that were made possible due to their House Project experience. The key prerequisite to these positive outcomes was the creation of secure and trusting relationships between young people and LHP staff. We found that there are key qualities and practices of staff which supported the development of these secure and trusting relationships.”
The study also stated that; “...trauma-responsive practices were essential enablers of secure and trusting relationships developing between young people and staff. We found that staff were supported by a wider culture of reflective practice at both the national and local level which included regular ‘community of practice’ meetings facilitated by the NHP.”
"This evaluation... highlights the ways in which meaningful and trusting relationships are developed and how this relational approach supports interdependence in life after care..."
Mark Warr, CEO
Mark Warr CEO said “This evaluation adds to the growing body of evidence-based practice that demonstrates that the psychologically informed approaches developed with young people and staff from the LHPs is enabling young people to leave care in a planned and supported way. Moreover, it highlights the ways in which meaningful and trusting relationships are developed and how this relational approach supports interdependence in life after care which in turn provides the framework for achieving improved health, a reduction in homelessness and engagement in Education, Employment and Training.
Both the government response to the Independent Care Review and Ofsted’s change to the Regulatory Framework rightly focuses attention on young people leaving care. This evaluation provides evidence that the House Project approach enables young people to succeed”.