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Monday, September 16 • 11:30am - 12:00pm
Evaluating creatively: Capturing the diverse voices of children and young people involved in early intervention programs

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Kylie Evans-Locke  (CareSouth)

Understanding the impacts and outcomes in evaluations into child protection programs utilizing the child and young person's voice has generally been met unfavourably, least of all, from parents and guardians. This is understandable as there are specific variables that require addressing. This includes gaining informed consent, ensuring age-appropriate activities and providing adequate supervision.

Traditional quantitative methods place the focus of activities on parents and guardians. This is not without contending issues including motivation, time, and demands efforts for program staff.
Even though traditional methods are valuable in capturing the program impacts on parents, and the wider family unit, they provide a minimal understanding of the child or young person's direct experiences. In seeking to gain a clearer understanding of important program experiences through the eyes of children, we sought to utilise experiences from other developmental and social science disciplines that have successfully evaluated effects for cohorts with similar lived experiences of trauma comparable to CareSouth. This required using interactive activities such as body-mapping which facilitate conversations and drawing, with trained professionals to gather more nuanced experiences of children and young people.

This paper will examine how we used this methodology to better understand the impacts of mentoring on children and young people involved in early intervention programs. It will detail how art and conversation were effectively used to meaningfully capture the role of adult mentors on the development of self-confidence and social skills in children and families in early intervention programs. Such methodology will lend commentary to understanding the utility of different methodology to better understand the experiences of children and families with lived experiences of trauma participating in early intervention programs.

avatar for Eleanor Williams

Eleanor Williams

Assistant Director, Centre for Evaluation and Research, Department of Health and Human Services Victoria
In my current role as Assistant Director of the Centre for Evaluation and Research at the Department of Health and Human Services, I am working to build an evaluation culture across a large government department of over 12,000 employees. My team and I aim to improve the use of data... Read More →


Kylie Evans-Locke

Research Coordinator, CareSouth
I am the Research Coordinator at CareSouth which involves responsibilities including undertaking and managing program evaluations, along with designing program logics and service design models. Previously working in areas of higher education, tertiary program evaluation and international... Read More →

Monday September 16, 2019 11:30am - 12:00pm AEST