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Collecting Outcome Data in Services

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Outcomes are the things that change for people because of an activity or action.

When we measure outcomes, we are able to see the real and tangible difference that we are making to people’s lives.

Standardised measures are tested and validated tools that have been developed to measure particular aspects of behaviour or attitudes. These measures can help those working with children, young people and their families gain insight into the impact of their service on specific behaviours or attitudes by getting participants to take the survey before and after the intervention.

The Area Based Childhood (ABC) Programme is a prevention and early intervention initiative in 13 areas of disadvantage around Ireland. As part of the National Evaluation of this programme, the Centre for Effective Services (CES) drew on readily available standardised measures to measure the impact of the national programme on children’s outcomes. The CES evaluation team supported the areas to collect outcomes data for participating parents and children. An intended benefit of this approach was to strengthen capacity around the use of data for planning and service delivery.

The templates shared in this toolkit were developed by CES to support services in their data collection. This toolkit supports the use of measures readily available and applicable to children and young people’s services.