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The acceptability of educational Interventions: Qualitative evidence from children and young people in care

Rhiannon Evans, Sophie Hallett, Alyson Rees and Louise Roberts

Children and Youth Services Review, 2016, vol. 71, issue C, 68-76

Abstract: There has been a proliferation of educational interventions that aim to address the disadvantage experienced by children and young people in care. However, the existing evidence-base has been limited by a dearth of theoretically-driven approaches and the inadequate involvement of the target population in developing interventions' theory of change or delivery mechanisms. The present study reports data from focus groups with care-experienced young people (n=26) aged 16–27 regarding the acceptability of educational interventions that have already been developed and subjected to evaluation via a randomized controlled trial. Although participants highlighted the merit of interventions that address social and emotional competencies, and have a clear relational component, they primarily felt that existing approaches fail to address the structural barriers to academic attainment. These include placement instability, inadequate resources, and lack of time and skills amongst carers. Participants indicated a preference for interventions delivered by carers. They equally suggested a preference for approaches that are universal rather than indicated. The variation in acceptability across interventions, both in terms of theory of change and delivery mechanisms, indicates the need to involve children and young people in the development of interventions intended to address their educational outcomes. Further theoretical, methodological and substantive research needs to be conducted in order to further enhance this process of involvement.

Keywords: Intervention; Education; Acceptability; Foster care; Residential care; Qualitative research (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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