A report has come out today that reveals the results of an independent evaluation of Family Rights Group’s Advocacy and Advice Line. The research was conducted by Professor Brid Featherstone, Dr Lindsay O’Dell and me from the Open University, Clare Fraser of Consult Research and David Pritchard of New Philanthropy Capital. The research involved an economic analysis, and an interview questionnaire (with closed and open questions) for individuals who had contacted the advice service and had agreed to take part in further research. The questionnaires were done via telephone and online and generated quantitative and qualitative data.
A key finding from the economic analysis is that the Family Rights Group advice and advocacy service saves the public purse £10.80 for every £1 invested. Financially then, it is really making a difference. What I find personally more interesting is that those who had rung the service found it very helpful. The clients ranged from parents to grandparents and other family members seeking advice about kinship care. The data revealed that the volunteers who man the phones were well respected and predominantly highly praised. They provided advice that empowered the clients in their relationships with social workers. The open questions that generated qualitative data, were also revealing of the issues and challenges still faced by individuals in their relationships with social workers and this has prompted additional research questions and ideas that we can hopefully get funded.
Read the full report here.