Families affected by imprisonment

ESS is working in partnership with The Robertson Trust to support organisations working with families affected by imprisonment (FABI) through a learning set and skills development programme. Seven organisations have been sharing experiences, common challenges, successes, and evaluation approaches over the course of this two year programme. The learning set comes to an end in December 2015 and group members are gearing up to share their experience and learning with a steering group representing the wider FABI sector.

What we’ve done so far

Working closely with Fiona Jamieson, Development Officer at The Robertson Trust, we have facilitated six learning sets consisting of workshops and tailored support sessions covering: setting and measuring outcomes and indicators, traditional and creative methods of collecting information, embedding evaluation into every day practice and logic modelling.

For the early part of 2015 each organisation had a half day of tailored support attended by team members and volunteers to help build evaluation into their everyday practice.

“I am going to present on this at our next team meeting!”

“Very helpful practical session which will be of direct use to me – thanks!”

Comments from learning set skills workshops

“It’s been really powerful to have my team come together and create our logic model so they can see how their individual projects feed into our strategic outcomes as we develop our service.”  

Comment from tailored support sessions by Umar Ansari, Chief Executive Youth Community Support Agency

The difference we are making

Organisations involved have told us we are making a difference:

“It has made our practice simpler – makes our outcomes easier to achieve. ESS is a brilliant facilitator and comes along side you – they ‘get’ what we do and where we want to be.” Elaine Waugh, Manager, Crossreach, Perth Prison

Our learning tells us:

Having other team members and volunteers involved massively helps with embedding evaluation into practice

What’s next?

The focus moves to analysing, reporting and using the learning from the evaluation results.

The group is coming back together to share and compare the evidence they have been gathering. Members will gain skills in analysing the information for learning, service development, and reporting purposes.

Later this year we will create a joint logic model to help illustrate how their individual outcomes map to local and national outcomes.

“It is a very professional presentation ESS gives; thinking outside the box all the time, trying to engage different people in different ways of thinking and working.”

Eleanore Hunter, Trustee, Cornton Vale Prison Visitor Centre

“Life’s been so much simpler since ESS came out to work with us. We now empty our outcomes boxes every Friday and talk about the evidence we’re getting.”

Elaine Waugh, Manager, Crossreach, Perth Prison