Introducing the new and improved Youth Star to practitioners

Triangle published the Youth Star in 2012 as a light touch tool for community-based youth work. Since then, it has been widely used and the youth sector has changed and evolved. Over the years we have received helpful feedback and realised that we needed to review this Star. Along with updating it, another key aim of the new edition was to develop detailed scales and resources to support training, consistency and clarity as the original edition was published without detailed scale descriptions.

What do I need to do?

If you have been provided with the materials for the new Edition, familiarise yourself with the revised scales, detailed descriptions and new resources (particularly the User Guide and flashcards).

Discuss it with colleagues and try it out before using it with the young people that you support.

What has changed in the new Edition?

Most importantly, we have created detailed scale descriptions for the six areas covered by the Youth Star. These are in a new User Guide, along with a ladder graphic of the short scale descriptions.

In addition, we listened to feedback from young people and workers and changed some wording to be more sensitive, trauma-informed and responsive to the issues people faced and created flashcards and new guidance. Specifically:

  • The first stage of the Journey of Change is renamed stuck, to recognise that things may feel or be stuck for many reasons, not because the young person is ‘not interested’
  • The first scale is now Interests and activities (replacing ‘Making a difference’), and is broader, to recognise activities that are positive for young people but not aimed at making a difference to others.
  • Health and well-being replaces ‘Well-being’ and includes physical health and managing mental health as well as emotional health.
  • Education and work now emphasises getting the most out of school, training, apprenticeships, work or college rather than focusing on achievement.

There are other minor tweaks to scales, with some aspects moving from one scale to another to increase clarity and accessibility.

The new Youth Star

New resources

User Guide with detailed scale descriptions, flashcards and new guidance

Improved wording

More accessible, clear and trauma-informed

Revised scales

Interests and activities, Health and well-being, Education and work

Journey of Change

‘stuck’ replaces ‘not interested’ as the first stage

Going back to my roots: Presenting the Carers Star to the Carers Awareness Day in Hong Kong

Stock photograph of a street in Hong Kong at night
Star co-creator Joy MacKeith reflects on how the Carers Star is taking her back to where she started life in Hong Kong

It is always exciting to have the opportunity to speak at an event about the Outcomes Star, but my presentation on the Carers Star to the Carers Awareness Day in Hong Kong this Friday is particularly meaningful to me.

I was born in Hong Kong and lived there until I was seven. My parents had travelled there from England just six months earlier so my father could take up a management post at the Nethersole Hospital on Hong Kong Island. He had been inspired by his aunt who had worked as a teacher in Shanghai and then Hong Kong from the 1930s to the early 1960s.  What a delight (just) over fifty years later to be able to share a tool I co-created with a Hong Kong audience of professionals, policy-makers and carers themselves.

Photograph of Joy MacKeith as a child with a group of people
Joy MacKeith, aged 6, with nurses from the Nethersole Hospital where her father worked

The annual event aims to promote the awareness of carers and their needs among the social service sector and policy makers. It is organised by Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service (BOKSS) a not-for-profit which provides a wide range of services across Hong Kong including children, youth and family services, services for older people and mental health services.

BOKSS have established a CARE College which provides training to carers, professionals and related agencies and raises awareness of the needs of carers. When they came across the Carers Star they recognised that the collaborative approach to assessment and action planning that is at the heart of the tool fitted perfectly with their holistic and participative approach. 

Image of the Carers Star in chinese
The Carers Star in Chinese

The Carers Star was developed by Triangle with the Carers Trust and Social Enterprise of East Lothian in Scotland. It covers seven key areas in which carers often need support including their own health, adapting to the caring role and making time for themselves. It is already widely used in the UK (including by The Carers Trust and Barnardos) and Australia (including by Australian National Carer Gateway and Uniting Care West), with over 30,000 readings on the Star Online. 

My presentation will introduce the Carers Star and outline its dual purpose as a key-work tool to support a structured and empowering conversation with a support worker, and an outcomes measurement tool providing valuable information about how things are changing for carers whilst they receive support. Sadly for me the event is completely online but on the positive side that will mean that I can be joined by colleagues Angela Kallabis and Laura Baker for the Q+A session. 

Percentage of service users moving forward in the seven Carers Star outcome areas

It is a long time since I lived in Hong Kong, but it is where life started for me and I still have vivid memories of my time there. I never could have dreamt that I tool I co-created would reach out so far into the world and pull me back, half a century later, to my roots. I will follow the journey of the Carers Star in Hong Kong with great interest and hope that it is as helpful there as it has been in the UK and Australia.

 

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The Carers Star was recently translated into Chinese in collaboration with Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service (BOKSS). For more information on the Stars and how to use them internationally or in translation take a look at our International section or contact Triangle for more information.

Recruiting now: Client Services Co-ordinator

Are you excellent at record-keeping and enjoy making sure everything is accurate? Are you super organised? Interested in working with a social enterprise that supports third sector organisations? We are seeking a maternity cover for our Client Services Coordinator who will be responsible for organising a large number of training courses for new and existing clients.

Triangle is seeking a capable and organised Client Services Coordinator to support our clients, and provide excellent customer service. The successful candidate will be responsible for responding to, managing, and co-ordinating the large number of training courses that new and existing clients require.

We’re looking for a pleasant and self-confident professional with an ability to develop and build strong relationships with clients and collegues.

The Client Services Coordinator is a vital role in managing and co-ordinating the large number of training courses. Main tasks will include liaising with clients and the training team (across the UK and beyond) to find suitable training dates, and manage the booking process and administration of these courses, maintaining and keeping our CRM up-to-date, monitoring numbers and organising appropriate training. You’ll also be responsible for organising records and pre-training resources, information including quotes and invoices as well as generating and issuing personalised certificates using Adobe to trainees who have completed their sessions.

The successful applicant will be based out of our Hove office, and we are open to flexible working arrangements especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Find out more and apply

Visit our Careers page to find out more about us and the role.

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You can download the job description and application form from our careers page to see if this is the next step for you. If you’d like an informal conversation about the position, please email miranda@triangleconsulting.co.uk

Moving to the Youth Star 2nd Edition

Graphic: text reads, Youth Star (2nd Edition). A new and improved version of the Youth Star for working with young people taking part in community-based youth projects
Key questions and answers about the new Edition of the Youth Star, and how organisations can transition to the new version

The new Youth Star is a new and improved edition of an Outcomes Star designed to support services working with young people and in the youth work and community sectors. 

1 Why a new Edition?

Triangle is responsible for ensuring that the Outcomes Stars stay relevant and are as good as possible; we keep them under review, seeking and analysing feedback and developing new editions as needed. We published the Youth Star in 2012 and since then have developed many more Stars for different sectors, leading to new learning, including how to make the Stars and guidance even more trauma-informed, strengths based and person-centred.

The 1st Edition of the Youth Star was published without detailed scale descriptions, so a key aim of developing a new edition was to develop detailed scales to support training, consistency and clarity. Further, Triangle has gathered feedback about the Youth Star and also about how the youth sector has changed and evolved, resulting in helpful feedback. This also pointed to a need to review this Star to make it as good a fit as possible for youth work today.

2 What has changed?

We have created detailed scale descriptions for the six areas covered by the Youth Star. These are in a new User Guide, along with a graphic of the short scale descriptions. The User Guide is most relevant as an important new resource for workers, in training and initial familiarisation with the Youth Star and for reference to ensure accurate and consistent completion of the Star. However, it is written in accessible language and can be shared with young people who are interested and able to engage with more detail.

There is more detail in the Development Report but in summary the main changes are:

  • The first stage of the Journey of Change is renamed stuck, to recognise that things may feel or be stuck for a young person at that stage for many reasons, not necessarily because they are ‘not interested’, as the language in the 1st Edition implied. This also makes this wording consistent with other versions of the Outcomes Star
  • The first scale is now Interests and activities (replacing ‘Making a difference’). This area still emphasises helping others, group activities and teamwork but is widened to recognise activities and interests such as sports, arts, music that are positive for young people but can be individual not group activities and not aimed at making a difference to others.
  • Health and well-being replaces ‘Well-being’ as it now covers both a healthy lifestyle and emotional health, including managing physical or mental health conditions. It recognises that those who are younger may not have much control over their diet or other choices and that their family may not support living healthily.
  • Education and work now emphasises getting the most out of school/ work rather than focusing on achievement. It was also widened to include training, apprenticeships or internships and to recognise the role of the school, college or workplace in providing extra support where needed, so it is not just up to the young person. 

There are other minor tweaks to scales, with some aspects moving from one scale to another to increase clarity and accessibility and adding references to social media and staying safe online. In addition, we listened to feedback from young people and workers and changed some wording to be more sensitive, trauma-informed and responsive to the issues people faced and created flashcards and new guidance.

3 Should I move to the new edition?

We believe that the 2nd Edition of the Youth Star is better, and the additional resources will make it a more effective tool for supporting and measuring change with young people, so we recommend you do transition your service to the 2nd Edition. However, the 1st Edition will continue to be available for the foreseeable future, so you have a choice and time to decide.

The 2nd Edition of the Youth Star is available for those with a Star licence to access on the Star Online, so you can download and it and review the new resources for yourself to help make a decision.

4 What should I do to move the to the new, 2nd Edition?

If you already have Star licences, there is no extra cost to using the new edition and no requirement for additional training, though you may want to consider refresher training. Talk to Triangle about your current licencing and how to make the most of the transition to support good use of the Star.

Consider how you will introduce the new edition to practitioners, for example by finding ways to ensure that they familiarise themselves with the User Guide with detailed scales, changes in wording and other new resources, including the flashcards and updated guidance. This can be done through refresher training, supervision sessions, discussions in team meetings and by sharing and promoting the “introducing the new Youth Star 2nd Edition” poster for practitioners, available from the Star Online or Triangle.  

You also need decide when and how to introduce the 2nd Edition. The main options are:

  1. Introduce the 2nd Edition for new clients and keep using the 1st Edition for existing clients who have already completed at least one Star. The advantage of this approach is that clients only have to engage with one version and their change shown from one reading to the next is valid because it is gathered using the same version
  2. Decide on a date from which to introduce the 2nd Edition with all clients, both new and existing. This is more straightforward for the service because than using both versions and makes the move more swiftly to the new edition. However, change measured from one reading to another is not valid and may be misleading if different editions are used with the same person (see data section below). This has implications for both keywork/ action planning with that individual and for the validity of the service’s Star data overall.

5 What about my Star data?

Because some of the Youth Star scales have significant changes and others have minor changes, data gathered using the 1st Edition will not be directly comparable to data gathered using the 2nd Edition. The most marked example is that someone actively and positively pursuing individual interests such as arts or sports, may be at 1 in the first scale of the 1st Edition (Making a difference) but could be at 5 in the 2nd Edition (Interests and activities). The other differences are summarised above and set out in more detail in the development report.

There are three main options for how to approach data and reporting when making the transition to the second edition of the Youth Star, as set out below

We believe that different options will work for different services. The most appropriate approach for your service will depend on how long you have been using the Youth Star and the amount of data you have and the importance for you of being able to monitor trend over a number of years. Talk to Triangle if you would like advice. However, in general:

  1. We would normally recommend the first option as it’s the most straightforward. Although this is likely to lead to difficulty presenting the data in the year in which you make the change to the 2nd Edition, this disadvantage is short lived, and the issues can be explained to those using the data internally and to funders or commissioners.
  2. The second option is generally only recommended for services with a small data set, particularly those who have started using the Youth Star within the last year, and where it is important to maintain continuity of monitoring over the time of the transition to the 2nd
  3. We strongly advise against combining the datasets from the 1st and 2nd Editions as in option 3, as there are significant changes to the scales that make the transition somewhat like moving to a different version of the Star. However, if you would like to be able to create high level reports across the two editions, we have a briefing called ‘reporting on different versions of the Star’ that would help with this and you can contact Triangle for advice as needed.

6 Questions and next steps

If you have any queries about the Youth Star, new editions or what would work best for your service, please get in touch with your Implementation Lead at Triangle, email us on info@triangleconsulting.co.uk or ring us on 0207 272 8765

5 things licensed trainers and keyworkers need to know about trauma-informed approaches

As part of Triangle’s Licensed Trainer option, trainers are expected to complete a certain number of continuing development programs over the course of each year. Nick Karr will be running a session, this May, for Licensed Trainers on how the Star is becoming more trauma informed and how this can be embedded into Outcomes Star training. He shares 5 key things that people should know about trauma-informed approaches.

5 things licensed trainers and workers should know about trauma-informed approaches:

  • A trauma-informed approach, like the Star, uses the client centred and strengths based approaches you already know about and use with clients
  • It shifts the perspective from ‘what is wrong with you’ to ‘what has happened to you’
  • You can’t take away the client’s past – but a supportive relationship with a worker, can make a big difference
  • The conversations you have with clients when using the Star contribute to a trauma sensitive approach, as we are focusing on the present, not the past
  • It isn’t all up to you as a worker – a trauma-informed approach, like the Outcomes Star, needs buy in from your organisation and you need their support.

On May 24, 2021, Nick Karr will host a short session on the Star and trauma informed approaches and training. These CPD sessions are free but available for Licensed Trainers only. Nick Karr has worked with Triangle for seven years. He delivered the first Outcomes Star training in the USA in 2010 and then helped launch and run the Outcomes Star in Australia for two years. Nick is a London based psychotherapist where he has worked in a range of specialist clinical roles, and is now the Lead in an NHS service for people with mental health and substance misuse problems. He completed a Masters’ in Social Work at the Tavistock Clinic, taught on university social work and mental health programs, and is also a Professional Advisor for Young Minds.

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For more information on how the Stars can support organisations and keyworkers to work in a more trauma-informed manner, please take a look at our guide, or contact Triangle for a more in depth conversation about the Stars, which Stars may be appropriate for your organisations and more information on our training offers.