NPC helped Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service (WCTS) to develop a measurement framework for MumsTalk.
Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service (WCTS)
Based in Leeds, Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service (WCTS) provides counselling and psychotherapy services for vulnerable or disadvantaged women. In 2012, it began a new project called MumsTalk, funded by The Tudor Trust. MumsTalk offers counselling to mothers and female carers dealing with difficulties that affect their ability to nurture themselves or their children, with a particular focus on mothers whose children also receive therapeutic support.
The charity asked NPC to help it develop a measurement framework for MumsTalk, so it could offer both funders and clients a coherent picture of the benefits of the service.
Creating a theory of change was central to the whole process. We held a workshop to pin down what the service aims to achieve for both mothers and children, and through a collaborative and iterative approach involving representatives across the organisation, a final version was agreed. This provided clarity around the goals of the project, allowing us to establish the flow of outcomes and identify which to prioritise for measurement. Stella Maden, who runs MumsTalk, found the theory of change exercise particularly beneficial in helping to distinguish between outcomes for the mother and outcomes for the children (through working with the mother), and the charity has now adopted the approach for other projects.
NPC used the theory of change to guide research into appropriate data collection tools. WCTS was already using the CORE outcome measure (a measure of psychological distress) across all its services, and so we focused on looking for additional tools that could be used alongside.
Two new measures are now being used for a before and after comparison (the statistical approach), and the range of evidence captured has now been broadened to include the parent-child interaction. NPC also helped WCTS with changes to its feedback form, including questions on the clients’ perception of the difference that the service had made to their difficulties, and on other events in their lives which might have had an impact on their recovery.