We have a unique monitoring and evaluation system which records the progress families make towards achieving their desired changes through Home-Start’s/our support.
This system is known as MESH (Monitoring and Evaluation System Home-Start).
We collect information in four headline categories, Parenting Skills, Parenting Well-Being, Children’s Wellbeing and Family Management, and within these categories there are 13 specific needs. MESH allows us to capture personalised information about a family, as well as produce anonymised data across all the families we support.
Families are asked to score how well they are coping at the beginning of support, at formal reviews during support, and again at the end of support. Family’s select, from the 13 specific needs, the areas where they would like support and score themselves between 0 and 5, where 0 is not coping at all and 5 is coping very well. We chart the ups and downs of their journey of change, as well as record what help they would like from their volunteer, and when and how this is given.
MESH records how families’ lives change in response to events such as illness or redundancy, and whether our support enables them to cope better with their circumstances.
We are proud to provide ‘active signposting’ and practical help for families – encouraging and enabling them to use other services to strengthen their support network. We record which services Home-Start has signposted, or introduced families to. We also record how volunteers help families with travel, access, childcare or other difficulties which may prevent them from attending appointments.
Far reaching consequences
Home-Start’s monitoring and evaluation system, which captures families’ needs at the beginning of support. Home-Start Northampton supported 77 families & 173 children. At the start of an engagement we agree with the family their particular needs and at the end of the engagement the families record how well their needs were met. These are the results from the 2018/19 year. Percentages represent the number of families who stated that Home-Start had helped them to Fully or Partially Achieve their needs.
Managing children’s behaviour 100%
Being involved in the children’s development/learning 100%
Coping with physical health 100%
Coping with mental health 100%
Coping with feeling isolated 100%
Improving parent’s self-esteem 100%
Managing the household budget 100%
The day-to-day running of the home 100%
Coping with extra work of multiple children under 5 100%
Use of support services 88%
The overall scores were 84% for Fully Achieved and 14% for Partially Achieved.
For some families where they stated their needs were partially met this was mainly because the parent(s) or their children had ongoing/permanent difficulties; mental health, autism, etc.