Outcomes and Evaluation

Because there is significant variability in community readiness, these are minimum outcomes. We expect that in some communities, due to groundwork from previous initiatives, some communities may more easily and quickly jump to intermediate or longer-term outcomes. These outcomes are based on extensive research on resiliency factors summarized in Brown, Gaetane & Beck (2010).

Short Term Outcomes: Involved youth will develop caring, connected relationships (an environment where empathy and compassion is the norm) among their peers, with the adult staff, and with community partners who involve themselves in the project.

Intermediate Outcomes: Community partners will bring forward opportunities for FLOH youth to participate in and contribute to existing or developing community initiatives, with the aim to support FLOH’s youth-developed objective of “Youth inspiring their communities to build a culture where young people with experience in the foster system—and their concerns and passions—are seen, heard, included, and celebrated.”

Long Term Outcomes: Youth participants—on account of having contributed to and participated in community-based opportunities within an environment of caring, connected relationships—will evidence and be able to articulate ways in which what they expect from themselves (e.g. capabilities, skills, persistence, self-care) has deepened, leading to greater resiliency when faced with life’s ongoing challenges, opportunities and obstacles. Longer term, community organizations, entities and individuals (including the youth… who will inevitably become adults) who have contributed to, participated in and/or observed FLOHs outputs and outcome harvest—will evidence commitment to supporting on-going projects aimed at engaging and addressing the social determinants of health for those experiencing the most concerning outcomes in our society. Yes, we dare to envision a day when this will no longer be young people with experience in the foster system!

Evaluation Methods: Indicators and outcome harvesting activities related to these various outcomes will be developed and carried out using a Participatory Action Research approach. Youth will be trained in various evaluation methods and activities and will develop various outcome indicators for the short, intermediate and long term outcomes expressed above. Youth will also explore and consider the difference between internal and third-party program evaluation and, as our budget allows (and using professors and practicum students from University of the Fraser Valley), will decide where validity of evaluation results would be enhanced by engaging third-parties.

Some of the potential evaluation methods we will use (and which we have already used in projects like VYPER – www.vyper.ca/resiliencereport.pdfand www.vyper.ca/evaluationreport.pdf) include:

  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Validated tools
  • Visual facilitation “Journey Maps”
  • Most Significant Change stories
  • Outcome Mapping processes