Free Star Online orientation session for clients this July

In July Triangle is hosting a free orientation introduction session for all clients, practitioners and managers who use the Star Online system. 

This session will be held online, and cover all the primary tasks practitioners do: including how to create a service user, how to add Stars and Action Plans,  the Help center and how to navigate it and where practitioners can find and download the key Outcomes Star resources that they need to support their work. The session will also cover general orientation, important features and how to set up engagements and manage notifications.

Please note: this session is not a substitute for official training and will only be relevant to those who are using the Star Online.

 

The session will be held online via zoom on July 6, 2021 at 10:00am (GMT+1: London). To book your place please register today. Limited spaces are available.

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If you have any questions about remote training, new Stars, or would like any information on the new Star Online, or anything else, please contact us on info@triangleconsulting.co.uk or +44 (0) 207 272 8765.

For more information on the sessions, how to book, or what clients need to do, please take a look at our previous posts, or find the links through the Star Online. Please note: We have limited spaces available, and we expect them to fill up quickly!

If you would like to be included in a mailing list for future webinars, demo’s or sessions, please sign up for our mailing list, and if you have suggestions or would like to request specific content and sessions on the Outcomes Star and the Star Online please email webinars@triangleconsulting.co.uk

The Outcomes Star: helping make trauma informed philosophy practice

Over the past decade, there has been increasing recognition of both:

  • the high prevalence of complex trauma, adverse childhood events and the different ways in which trauma presents and
  • how important it is to ensure that services are delivered in ways that do not risk people becoming re-traumatised, in relation to how workers engage with them and the topics discussed.

Given the potential of the COVID-19 context and measures to cause, exacerbate and reactivate trauma, it has been argued that –

  “never before has trauma-informed care been so important to promote the health and well-being of all and to protect our marginalised populations at greatest risk”
(Collin-Vézina, Brend & Beeman, 2020)

Trustworthiness, transparency; collaboration and empowerment are key principles of trauma-informed care, which can guide service delivery policies and practices (SAMSHA, 2014). However, there can be barriers to putting these into practice.  Tools that offer a clear framework for translation of the principles of trauma informed care into practice can benefit many organisations and help them overcome these barriers.

The Outcomes Star tools have many features that directly support trauma informed working, including:

Relationship-based – The collaborative process of practitioners and clients completing the Outcomes Star helps to build a trusting and positive relationship, giving service users greater control and voice and within which important connections in the person’s life are discussed.

Empowering – The Journey of Change is sensitive to small but important steps and progress. Visually showing change can be empowering and motivating for both practitioners and clients.

Focuses on the present not someone’s history – completing the Star is a conversation about someone’s life, how things are for them and what they are doing now, rather than bringing up past histories or traumatic experiences.

Strengths based not deficit-based; they use positive language focusing on the process of change and the support and actions needed, not on the severity of problems.

Holistic – the whole person and all relevant life circumstances are recognised. Plotting where someone is on the Star chart provides a clear representation of where support is needed and where things are going well, highlighting the interaction between different areas of someone’s life.

As well as the tools themselves, training and guidance around the Outcomes Star emphasises flexibility in responding to a client’s window of tolerance and preferences – for example, about when and how to introduce and discuss the different outcome areas. There is also guidance about identifying appropriate action plans in a trauma-informed way that is sensitive to the client’s capacity to drive things forward themselves.

Triangle is committed to continuous learning and improvement of the Outcomes Stars and how they are used. Staff have received training and advice from experts on trauma informed care and we are currently reviewing some of our older, widely used Stars using a trauma-informed lens.

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For more information, please see our guide on ;How to use the Outcomes Stars with trauma informed approaches’ or get in touch on info@triangleconsulting.co.uk or +44(0) 207 272 8765.

The Integration Star and refugees – common questions and answers

People arriving at an airport

Frequently asked questions about using the Integration Star and how it can be used to support services and service users

Last October, Triangle launched the Integration Star, the Star to support refugees to integrate into life in the UK. The development of the Star has been a collaboration with the Refugee Council and the Star was piloted by the Refugee Council and their partners on the New Roots programme, in London and in Yorkshire & Humber.

In this blog, we bring together some of the frequently asked questions and draw on the expertise of Amilee Collins, National Project Worker at the Refugee Council, who shared her experience of using the Integration Star at our recent Webinar, Better conversations, Better outcomes. Amilee has 14 years experience resettling refugee families and her team offers a client-led holistic support service. She finds that the new Outcomes Star suits this approach.

What are the key benefits of using the Integration Star?

From Amilee’s perspective, one of the most important aspects of the Integration Star was that it is a visual tool that her clients could understand and engage unlike previous assessment frameworks used. The pictorial resources that accompany the Integration Star, support this engagement, even when communication is through an interpreter.

The visual snapshot that the Star provides, has also been extremely useful, as the visual communicates a client’s needs succinctly to other agencies, reducing the need for families to repeat everything to each agency involved in their support.

Another aspect of the Star that Amilee appreciates, is that the scales for each Outcome Area, based on a Journey of Change specific to the Integration Star, are clearly defined in the User guide. This helps the worker and client to identify where they are on the scale and helps them visualise next steps. Amilee feels this helps to promote some objectivity and parity between worker and client, as they use the Star together.

The Integration Star is structured around 8 Outcome areas and Amilee finds this helpful to break things down and she often completes the Star in more than one sitting. Amilee found that clients surprised themselves, as they worked around the Star; clients can become overwhelmed by the challenges they experience, but the Integration Star helped them see that they were progressing well in some areas, and this restored some confidence and self-belief and helped the client to get some perspective on the areas that were still difficult. Clients fed back that they found using the Integration Star useful and easy to understand.

Can you complete the Integration Star through an interpreter?

Amilee found that completing the Integration Star with a client via an interpreter was no different to doing any other work through an interpreter. Her top tip is to brief the interpreter beforehand and provide a Star chart and visual of the Journey of Change so that they can familiarise themselves with the concept of Outcomes Stars. Triangle has produced a leaflet for interpreters explaining the purpose of the Integration Star and explaining the Journey of Change. Amilee’s other piece of advice is to encourage the interpreter to speak in the first person; the Integration Star is about capturing the voice of the client, so she feels it is important to hear a client’s responses in the first person.

Is the Integration Star translated into other languages?

The Integration Star is not translated into other languages at the moment. The resources are very visual to support communication where the client might have limited English, or where an interpreter is being used.

Is the Integration Star a tool you use with individuals or families?

The Integration Star is designed to capture where an individual is on the Journey of Change scale and how they are navigating their new life in the UK, including supporting their children to settle. Amilee explained that she completes a Star for each adult in the family and gives them the opportunity to complete their Star one-to-one. This is really helpful to explore the different needs and strengths and perspectives of each individual.

Triangle has a range of other Stars that can be used with children and young people in the family to capture their voice.

What were the challenges of using the Star in lockdown?

Amilee was surprised how easy the Integration Star was to use remotely. Preparation is key, and Amilee always made sure, if she was going to do a Star remotely, that the client had access to Star resources. The visual of Journey of Change has been particularly helpful for clients to identify how they are feeling and then plot the relevant stage on their Star, so this usually meant printing and posting the Star Chart and Journey of Change to the client in advance of a phone or video call. Amilee used a range of platforms to talk to clients; Whatsapp, Zoom and Teams. The client usually used their phone screen for the call, so sending the client physical printed resources in advance, meant that the client didn’t have to look at the materials on the screens at the same time. Amilee would complete the Star during the call and sent a completed Star to the client.

Can the Integration Star be used with Asylum Seekers?

Triangle and the Refugee Council were open to the Integration Star working for Asylum seekers, but during the development process it became apparent that it would not be possible to structure clearly defined scales that could work well both for Refugees and for Asylum seekers, given the difference in eligibility for housing and benefits etc. so the scales, particularly Housing, Money and Education and Work relate options available to Refugees rather than Asylum Seekers.

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The Integration Star is one of two new Stars which are designed to support organisations and services that work with service users who are refugees, asylum-seekers and need assistance in settling in their new home and navigating a new country.  The Planning Star is the Outcomes Star for asylum-seeking children and may be more suitable for services working to support children. Both Stars have a strong foundation in supporting and empowering service users to best adjust and navigate the complexity of refugee and asylum-status. For more information please contact us.

We’re reviewing the Family Stars

Tell us what you think

The Family Star Plus is the most widely used of a growing constellation of Stars for children and families, including the original Family Star and the Family Star (Early Years). Since publishing them, Triangle has developed many more Stars, spanning diverse needs from cradle to grave. We got better at it and learned a lot. Much changed in the world, including the needs of families identified as at risk or presenting for support. It is now time to review these Stars.

What do you want us to change? What do you like and want us to keep?

Part of our role is to keep in touch with developments in the sectors served by the Stars, learning alongside the people who use them. We keep them under review, investing part of the Star licence in making tweaks or new editions. We create new resources to help people reap the benefits of using them well – engaging clients and getting reliable outcomes information. It’s a dynamic process that relies on you telling us what you think and us listening and responding.  

Now we want to hear about what is needed to be sensitive to changing client groups and needs in children and family services, or to be even more strengths-based, trauma informed, conversational and accessible, for example. We particularly want to hear from you if you have suggestions about any of the Family Stars:

  • Family Star Plus
  • Family Star
  • Family Star (Early Years)

 

The Family Star (Relationships) is more recent, so not part of this review, but check it out if you work with families where the main need is around conflict between parents. And do tell us if you use and have feedback on other Stars.

Tell us what you think about the Family Stars – what works and what to change.

Sara Burns leads on the development the Stars. Email with your feedback and suggestions or to arrange a call: sara@triangleconsulting.co.uk.

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.

Employability and the Outcomes Stars

According to the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), the latest official labour market data shows that “in September to November of 2020 unemployment hit 5 per cent, with redundancies at a record high of 395,000”. While the government’s Job Retention Scheme has no doubt helped many businesses and other organisations that may otherwise have made even more jobs redundant, there is significant uncertainty over what the future may hold.

As creators of the Outcomes Star, Triangle works with many of the organisations that provide front-line employability services, particularly those whose services focus on more vulnerable individuals and groups. People who are unemployed and struggling with issues such as mental illness, addiction or homelessness face significant challenges with finding employment at the best of times; now their prospects of finding meaningful work may seem more remote. Others may have recently found themselves facing family difficulties, trauma or other complex issues as a result of the pandemic that create barriers to finding employment.

It is widely reported that already disadvantaged groups have generally fared worse than others over the last year, exacerbating already existing inequalities. For example, ERSA reports that “disabled jobseekers are now more than twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people” and that “the UK jobless rate for young black people has also risen by more than a third, to 35 per cent” over the past year.

In 2021 there is a significant need for traditional forms of employment support to help those people who have recently become unemployed or who face the risk of redundancy. However, we must also ensure that the longer term unemployed are not overlooked in the process. There is a need for holistic, person-centred services that engage with the range of complex, and often related, issues that are the underlying reason why an individual may be unemployed. These innovative programmes offer bespoke one-to-one help for people with complex needs, focusing on helping individuals to overcome the specific challenges they face. This is where the popular Outcomes Star can be most useful.

Triangle has developed two versions of the Outcomes Star for providers of employability services: the Work Star and the Pathway Star.

Employment support services have been using the Work Star for many years to support people to return to work or to find a job for the first time. The original Work Star was developed with service providers and commissioners from Camden, Islington and Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council. Now in its 3rd edition, the Work Star covers the traditional areas of employment support – skills and experience, aspiration and motivation, job search skills and the like, but also has two areas for drilling down into the person’s context – their health and well-being and the level of stability they have in their life. The current version was published in 2017 with input from the Department of Work and Pensions, Prospects, Hounslow Council and The LightBulb.

Launched in late 2019, the Pathway Star was developed by Triangle with service providers and commissioners from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority as part of its Households Into Work (HIW) programme; a unique and innovative programme of support for people who, because of their circumstances, have difficulty finding and sustaining employment.

The Pathway Star is designed for use with people who need considerable support if they are to move towards work. It is an outcomes tool that helps guide keywork and conversations, with the focus on helping people move towards work rather than necessarily finding a job. It’s structured around the individual and the barriers they face to employment – things like stability at home, household finances, family and relationships and emotional well-being.

For service users, working with either the Work Star or the Pathway Star, seeing their situation and their progress in a simple visual form can be powerful. “I got a surprise regarding my progress over the last few months,” said one person on the HIW pilot. “I’m pleased I’ve got some change in my life where I wanted help.”

“The Work Star is ideal for mainstream services or for people who need help with navigating job search or brushing up on skills. But if you’re a service working with people who are far from being job-ready and you’re offering in-depth, holistic support, take a look at the Pathway Star. From what we’ve seen so far, it’s a really persuasive tool in helping people to change.”
Juliet Kemp
Implementation Lead

For managers and commissioners of employability services, there are additional benefits in the form of the management information that these tools provide. Using the Outcomes Star can provide organisations with a unique and valuable data set around meaningful outcomes for service users and the progress they have made. Analysing and evaluating the holistic dataset collected by the Outcomes Star can be useful in a number of ways:

  • Demonstrating and evidencing the impact of services to a range of stakeholders
  • Learning about what is working well and what can be improved for the future
  • Providing motivation for service users and for staff by highlighting the change that has been achieved

Ultimately, though, the most significant benefit of implementing the Outcomes Star may be the change that this encourages towards more of an enabling approach to service delivery. Employability services that focus on a strengths-based, holistic and person-centred way of working enable individual service users to focus on the outcomes that they to wish to achieve.

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If you have any questions or queries about the Work Star or Pathway Star, or you would just like find out more about how the Stars can support your service users, keyworkers and organisation, please contact us on info@triangleconsulting.co.uk or +44 (0) 207 272 8765.