our principles &

theory of change

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Our Theory of Change

​Thanks to generous funding from Esmée Fairbairn and Samworth Foundation, in 2020 we commissioned WSA Community Consultants to conduct a 3-year evaluation of our work.

 

Our impact

Evidence of our outcomes is available in the following reports:

  • MOPAC Rescue and Response Strategic Assessment August 2019 - click here to access the assessment

    • 70% R&R Abianda Engagement Rate

    • see page 34 for a case study from a young woman we worked with

    • “I have realised that being in a gang is not worth it, and definitely not what I deserve in life. I now know that I am worth so much more than that… I am not the same girl I was when I entered secure, I have honestly changed and changed for the better, I truly believe that I now have boundaries to keep myself safe. I am also still learning how to navigate myself away from negative influences, I just want to be given the chance to live a normal life with my family where I belong.”

  • MOPAC Rescue and Response Strategic Assessment September 2020 - click here to access the assessment

    • see page 32 for a case study from a young woman we worked with 

    • “this project sounds like it can change my life...I feel like I can talk to you and you care”

  • MOPAC Rescue and Response Strategic Assessment 2021 - click here to access the assessment 

You may also be interested in the Contextual Safeguarding Network's work on Rescue and Response - click here to access the 2019 evaluation

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Our Principles

We believe that:

  • Young women are experts on their own lives.

  • Young women have innate resources, competence and resilience.

  • People affected by a problem are best placed to find the solutions.

  • We must shift traditional power hierarchies in service delivery in order to enable young women's participation in solution building.

  • We must support young women to have their voices heard in order that they can influence the design and delivery of services.

We therefore adopt:

  • Youth work principles

  • Participation principles

  • Solution-focused brief therapy techniques

Youth work principles

In our approach we:

  • Work ‘alongside’ young women

  • Start from where they are and are led by their “felt needs”

  • Respect their empirical knowledge of their own lives

  • Encourage them to develop a “critical consciousness” of their worlds, their experiences, and how they are affected by these

Participation principles

In our approach we:

  • Work in a non-hierarchical way

  • Challenge unequal dynamics power & oppression

  • Tip the balance of power in favour of young women

  • Ensure young women inform future practice and services

  • Recognise that young women are best placed to identify issues and solutions

Solution-focused brief therapy techniques

In our approach we:

  • Work to the young woman’s ‘best hopes’ or desired outcomes

  • Engage with competence

  • Look for alternative narratives of her and her life where she has previously demonstrated competence

  • Obtain detailed descriptions of what life will be like when changes are made

  • Trust the young woman’s ‘version of events’

  • Are interested in the young woman and not the problem

  • Develop techniques to understand and strategise around big and sometimes ‘unmanageable’ feelings

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