RESEARCHING AND PROMOTING BEST PRACTISE IN CARE
Our Evaluation and Research Services promotes best practice through evaluation and research of services and outcomes. This data underpins the quality, integrity and effectiveness of all Girls and Boys Town models, services and programmes. Research includes:
- Comprehensive annual assessments of implementation processes and outcomes.
- A longitudinal project (Growth Beyond the Town) to track the outcomes and resilience of youth leaving Girls and Boys Town care
Growth Beyond The Town
The youth who benefit from Girls and Boys Town (GBT) residential, family and community interventions come from troubled backgrounds and often severe neglect. Due to the harm they have previously suffered they lack personal and social skills needed for a successful independent future. An important part of our role is to bridge this gap to ensure they are well prepared for integrating into adult and community life.
Research plays an important role in assessing whether our programmes for youth are achieving this end and making recommendations to enhance these, so that our children do have a chance to overcome their obstacles and Shine™ in their communities. In collaboration with the University of Johannesburg (UJ), GBT has been conducting research to inform best practices.
The most significant research effort entails an ongoing longitudinal study on youth leaving care. Its end-goal is to ensure that the programmes provided children while in care at GBT, transform the them from vulnerable youths into stable, resilient, functioning grown-ups who can confidently integrate into society, ready to be contributing members of the community.
GBT’s partnership on the longitudinal research with Prof Adrian Van Breda from UJ began in 2009. Phase 1 of the research was a Grounded Theory project called ‘Journey Towards Independence’. Phase 2, ‘Growth Beyond the Town’, was initiated in 2012 as a longitudinal, rolling cohort study and Phase 3, started in 2016, entailing a continuation of the Phase 2 project, but broadening it to include youth into the study as they enter GBT and not only, as they leave.
GBT also disseminates findings of research to stakeholders in the youth-care and education fields to aid the strengthening of programmes and initiatives that help our youth across the country.