Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower Trust
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Evaluating the Fullpower Healthy Relationships programme with people with a disability.
When it ran
2009 to 2016.
People with disabilities
We wanted to find out:
- what works for people with learning disabilities
- how we could ensure that caregivers are on the same page in order to build a safe environment
- how we could evaluate the programme in effective and ethically sound ways that weren't reliant on language or literacy.
What we did
Wrote comic-style stories for role play
We used comic-style stories to role play a set of simple skills that prevent victimisation and perpetration.
When writing them, we worked alongside with people with disabilities, advocates and supporters to:
- better assess their needs
- develop a resource that encourages repeated practice of social skills.
The concept is based on the cutting edge, yet well-tested, experiential methods of Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International.
Its executive director and founder Irene van der Zande generously offered expertise and gave permission to adapt her copyrighted educational resources.
Caregivers as coaches
We engaged caregivers as coaches, which means they learned alongside the people with learning disabilities.
Professional evaluators with the right skills
We worked hard to educate different external evaluators over the years about the experiential and ethical issues until we finally found SAMS, an organisation whose primary focus is to work in partnership with people with a disability, their families and whānau, agencies and other stakeholders to improve community services for people with a disability or mental health issues.
A healthy relationships programme resource kit
We created a resource kit with animated stories, workbooks, a facilitator’s guide, and four posters covering these themes:
Enjoying Healthy Relationships
- What are Healthy Relationships?
- When Something is Necessary for Health and Safety
- Making and Keeping Friends
Saying What You Want
- Speaking Up
- Listening to What Others Want
- Being a Caring Person
- What is Urgent?
- Where to Get Help
- How to Get Help
- Understanding Your Right to Good Support
The experiential, success-based and interactive approach helped the students learn and apply empowerment, self-advocacy, positive social interaction and personal safety skills.
The evaluator built a relationship with the participants, which was a key factor in successfully evaluating their learning. She produced well-founded qualitative and quantitative reports on the effectiveness of the programme.
If we were to evaluate the programme again, we'd:
- continue to follow the "nothing about us without us" approach. It takes time but is important for success.
- only use professional evaluators who have extensive experience with intellectual disabilities (or young children) and an understanding of how to evaluate experiential programmes with disabled people (or young children) in safe and effective ways. “It’s not something you can learn from books or at university.”
- further evolve tools to measure non-verbalised learning.
“What was most apparent when observing the Healthy Relationships programme in operation was the fun people had when practicing the scenarios with peers.”
— Dr.Christine Wilson, Evaluator