How the ideas driving social provision are steering service delivery off course

Triangle, the social enterprise behind the widely used Outcomes Star tools, is calling for a paradigm shift in social provision.  In a new report to be published in September 2021, co-founder and Star co-author Joy MacKeith argues that at its heart service delivery is about meeting human needs and changing behaviour.  Everything we know about how change happens points to the importance of relationships, trust and connection.  Research also shows that services must be holistic and tailored to each person. But the ideas currently driving social provision steer the focus away from relationships and flexibility and onto procedures, markets, targets and standardisation.  They break service delivery down into parts rather than focusing on the whole system.

The report presents an alternative vision – an enabling approach to service delivery.  Called Enabling Help, this alternative puts the focus of the service delivery system on the service user, rather than the helper, the service or the intervention.  Enabling Help builds relationships, trust and hope, develops skills and capabilities, is holistic, responsive and tailored to each individual person.

It also paints a picture of what it means to make Enabling Help a reality in practice. At the front-line it means moving to a collaborative approach rather than telling and directing. For managers it means changing the emphasis from managing procedures to enabling front-line workers to deliver relationship oriented, collaborative, flexible, problem-solving services.  For commissioners it means shifting the focus from numbers to narratives – co-learning with service providers about what works. 

‘Enabling Help’ builds on Triangle’s twenty years’ experience of helping organisations to support and measure change for people receiving services.  Working with over one hundred collaborating organisations including local and national charities, housing associations, grant-making trusts, local authorities and NHS trusts, has provided a unique insight into what works when supporting change and building well-being and potential.  And training and supporting over one thousand organisations to use the Outcomes Star in practice has highlighted what can get in the way of delivering what works.  This report pulls all this learning together and identifies the real reasons why people being helped get stuck in services and the people delivering the help feel frustrated and de-motivated.

The report calls on all those involved in service delivery from front-line workers, to managers, commissioners, researchers and policy-makers to embrace this new set of ideas and put relationships, responsiveness and learning at the heart of everything they do. 

Launching the Gambling Recovery Star in Australia

Headshot of Paul Montgomery, Unique Outcomes, wearing a floral shirt leaning against a brick wall
In April, the Co-Director of Unique Outcomes, the Outcomes Star™ in Australia, pAul Montgomery was invited to participate in the official launch of the Gambling Recovery Star. The Gambling Recovery Star was officially launched in Australia in an event hosted by Relationship Australia (RAQ) in Queensland on the 28th April 2021.

The event included brief addresses by Relationships Australia Queensland, CEO Ian Law and the Hon. Shannon Fentiman (Attorney-General) and an informal morning tea where the Gambling Recovery Star resources (printed and laminated) were showcased and discussed in small groups. The launch included a small number of participants invited to the gather, due to COVID19 restrictions and other colleagues from UCC and Centacare accessed the opening addresses via videoconference.

At the launch, Dr Ian Law emphasised the “spirit of collaboration at the heart of the project” with involvement from the Queensland Government Department of Justice and Attorney General, the Outcomes Star in the UK, Unique Outcomes in Australia, Lifeline Darling Downs and South East Queensland, UnitingCare, Centacare and RAQ.

Dr Law further explained that, with 5 million Australians effected by problem gambling each year, there is a keen interest in improving clinical practice and collecting data about what works. He also acknowledged the importance of the Outcomes Star in fostering a dynamic approach to assessment and planning, centred on client’s voices and priorities. He said the Gambling Recovery Star is now routinely used with almost all clients in Queensland’s Gambling Help Services, “Empowering clients to be agents of change”.

The Executive Director of the Office of Regulatory Policy, David McKarzel, shared that contributing to the development of the Gambling Recovery Star had been a welcome opportunity for policy staff to work with these services in a different way- toward the creation of a clear and consistent methodology for service provision.

Marty O’Hare, Counsellor/Community Educator for RAQ said the real advantage of using the Gambling Recovery Star is that “you’re able to dial into conversation with clients about various aspects of their lives… and the Gambling Recovery Star helps us broaden the conversation, so they see gambling in context, see connections to issues relating to their emotional wellbeing… Many people have compartmentalised gambling and not realised it’s effects in other areas of their life and relationships.”

Although several Australian organisations have been involved and collaborated with new Star development over the years, this was pAul’s first experience of being involved from the start. pAul recently shared his thoughts and experiences on the Star in a blogpost. To find out more and read his full blogpost please visit Unique Outcomes website.

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The Gambling Recovery Star is an Outcomes Star that has been devised purposely for organisations that work with individuals to help them recover from harmful gambling and its effects. For more information on the Gambling Recovery Star or any of the other Stars for use in similar sectors (including addiction or substance misuse) please contact Triangle, or if you are based in Australia or New Zealand you can reach out to Unique Outcomes.

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

Introducing CPD sessions for Licensed Trainers

A series of CPD sessions free for Licensed Trainers to educate, inform, inspire, and connect us all.

Triangle’s training and implementation teams have been hard at work to create a new series of CPD training sessions for all of our Licensed Trainers across the world. Licensed Trainers (LT’s) are individuals within organisations who have been nominated and trained to effectively deliver training and support within their organisations. As part of the Licensed Trainer support, Triangle has, in the past, offered a series of Development Days which provide an opportunity for Licensed Trainers to gain additional support, training, update their skills and network across other organisations.

 

What are the CPD sessions?

These new CPD sessions have been developed as a result of the changing working environment and in response to requests from the Trainers to provide ongoing support and regular CPD in specific areas. Licensed Trainers must complete a total of 6 hours of CPD training across the year in order to maintain their LT status.

 

What do the sessions cover?

These sessions cover a range of subjects and draw on specialist knowledge and information across Triangle and beyond. Licensed Trainers are encouraged to book sessions in areas that are of interest to their work and organisations.

When are the CPD sessions?

The CPD sessions are scheduled across the year. More information below:

Licensed Trainers will be emailed details of the sessions and information on how to book their places. For more information, please email laura@triangleconsulting.co.uk.

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Licensed Trainers are trained and licenced to run Outcomes Star training within an organisation. This ‘train the trainer’ route can be cost-effective for large organisations. For more information on how to become a Licensed Trainer and the benefits of joining the team please contact us.

Star Online introduction sessions for March and April

Free demo-webinars: A Practitioners guide to the Star Online and How to use the Reports dashboard on Star Online.

Each webinar will consist of a short video presentation, which will be followed by a question and answer season and it is designed to support clients by sharing knowledge, ideas and information. Please note: these sessions are not a substitute for official training.

A Practitioners Guide to the Star Online

This session is only relevant to practitioners who use the SOL and is not a substitute for training. The session covers an orientation of the new Star Online and during the session we will introduce practitioners to the new Star Online features, such as setting up engagements and managing notifications. It will also explore many of the main tasks practitioners need to complete, including:

  • Creating a service user
  • Adding Stars and Action Plans
  • Navigating the Help Centre and
  • Locating the Star resources you need

Click on the links below to book your place.

laptop with star online open on the screen

How to use the Reports dashboard on Star Online

Hosted by two Star experts, this workshop is ideal for Managers and anyone responsible for producing reports on Outcomes Star data. This session will cover:

  • The three new report dashboards for implementation, snapshot and distance-travelled reporting
  • How to use the filters
  • How to think about engagements to create instant and engaging charts that can be downloaded to add to any report or funding bid.

We will also discuss what the reports can tell you about how Stars are being used in a service and the progress made by service users.

Click on the links below to book your place.

These webinars are not a substitute for core training.

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!

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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

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.

January newsletter roundup

Triangle’s January newsletter is out! In it, we celebrate a milestone on our new Star Online system: we hit 100k completed Stars in first few months!

Other than that we had:

You can read the full newsletter here, and sign up for your very own copy delivered right to your inbox here.

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Contact Triangle at info@triangleconsulting.co.uk or +44(0) 20 7272 8765 for more information on our Outcomes Stars, the new Star Online and our licence and training options.

Online demos in February

This February we are running a free webinar for organisations, managers and keyworkers who work with refugees and asylum seekers as well as our usual demo-webinars for Star Online.

A new Outcomes Star, the Integration Star is a tool that enables keyworkers, managers and organisations to evidence achievements.

Triangle, the social enterprise behind the Outcomes Star, in collaboration with the Refugee Council, will be presenting a free webinar to explore and showcase the benefits of the Integration Star and why it is a vital new tool to support organisations and keyworkers in their work with refugees.

The webinar will explore some of the key issues faced by the sector, including questions such as:

    • How can we ensure that our key-work is strengths based and trauma informed?
    • How can we evidence the difference we are making?
    • How do we know what is working?

 

This webinar is primarily aimed at managers and keyworkers who work with refugees. Triangle and the Refugee Council will explore the development and co-production of the Integration Star and demonstrate how the Star is a collaborative holistic tool to help refugees integrate into their new country and build a new life there. The webinar will also explore how the Star is enables you to evidence achievements both within your support service and with clients completing the Star.

 

The webinar will be hosted by Juliet Kemp, Implementation Lead at Triangle. It will be presented by Sara Burns, co-Founder of Triangle, together with Andrew Lawton, Head of Integration, and Amilee Collins, National Projects Worker at the Refugee Council. Sara Burns and Andrew Lawton will unpack the eight key areas on which successful integration depends, from employment and housing to education and health. Amilee Collins will highlight what practitioners within the Refugee Council have learned so far from using the Integration Star. These presentations will be followed by a question and answer session.

Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 10:00-11:00 GMT UK – Webinar

An introduction to the Integration Star

Better conversations and better outcomes for refugees

Free demo-webinar on How to use the Reports dashboard on Star Online.

Hosted by two Star experts, this workshop is ideal for Managers and anyone responsible for producing reports on Outcomes Star data. This webinar will be covering:

  • The three new report dashboards for implementation, snapshot and distance-travelled reporting
  • How to use the filters
  • How to think about engagements to create instant and engaging charts that can be downloaded to add to any report or funding bid.

We will also discuss what the reports can tell you about how Stars are being used in a service and the progress made by service users.

laptop with star online open on the screen

Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 3pm GMT – Demo-webinar

How to Use Reporting Dashboards on Star Online

How to use Star Online (Practitioners Guide)

This webinar will be an orientation session to the new Star Online and during the webinar we will introduce practitioners to the new Star Online features, such as setting up engagements and managing notifications. It will also explore many of the main tasks practitioners need to complete, including:

  • Creating a service user
  • Adding Stars and Action Plans
  • Navigating the Help Centre and
  • Locating the Star resources you need.

Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 10am GMT – Demo-webinar

A Practitioners Guide to the Star Online

These webinars are not a substitute for core training.

For more information on the webinars, how to book, or what clients need to do, please take a look at our previous posts, or wait for your invite email. Please note: We have limited spaces available, and we expect them to fill up quickly! We will be organising further webinars to meet demand.

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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

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.