Supporting LGBTQ Young People In Care: co-devising research-led training materials for multi-professional practice.

Type of research

Implementation: process evaluation of co-producing research-led training materials with PPI members and stakeholders.

Background & Scientific Rationale

This project follows on from a national ESRC funded study called the Speak Out Study:, which is the first to explore LGBTQ young people’s experiences in the social care system in England. LGBTQ young people in care are often a particularly vulnerable and mobile group and this research aims to improve support and services. 78% of the 152 English local authorities completed the Speak Out survey, 46 care experienced, LGBTQ young people took part in narrative interviews, 26 foster carers were interviewed and 3 multi-professional focus groups were conducted. The research team included a group of young researchers (PPI) who were involved at all stages of the project, meeting on a monthly basis. There will be an ESRC project report produced to disseminate findings, but there is further need for research-led training materials for practice and Good Practice Guidance.

This CLAHRC bid enables us to co-produce training materials with our young researcher group, regional stakeholders (Break, Norfolk, and Essex county council) and key national partners (Coram BAAF, National Fostering Agency), ensuring that the key messages from the research are relevant to implementation contexts (the professional audiences for the training, commissioning opportunities and constraints); and that the voices of young people remain at the core of training.

This research implementation work cuts across the CLAHRC EoE’s PPI and EDD themes with a particular emphasis upon demonstrating how PPI with vulnerable young people is making research findings impact on practice, regionally and nationally. The work also meets the need to critically evaluate PPI processes in implementation in manageable ways.

Project questions / aims:

This work aims to co-produce and deliver accessible, impactful training materials for professionals working with LGBTQ young people in care, based on the only national research findings about this group, ensuring that young people’s experiences are at the centre of this.

  • To review the content of gender and sexuality in care training, currently in use/accessed by service providers, with a specific focus on LGBTQ issues (developing further the scoping survey from ESRC study).
  • To clarify the constraints on commissioning LGBTQ in care training (duration, depth, cost, mode of delivery) to ensure best impact.
  • To co-produce appropriate training materials for dissemination with young researchers and stakeholders, informed by the results of (1) and (2).
  • To co-devise an animation film(s) (or similar) with young researchers (PPI), utilising data and analysis from the original ESRC project to address training needs.
  • To develop good practice guidance in association with Coram BAAF (Coram BAAF have already agreed to publish a good practice guide).
  • To evaluate the PPI process in this implementation work.
  • To pilot the training materials with an EoE Local Authority

Proposed methods:

  • Scoping of training currently available for foster carers, social workers, residential workers, in relation to working with LGBTQ young people in care in local authorities in the Eastern region.
  • Discussion with strategic leads providing and commissioning training to further explore current commissioning context, needs and preferred delivery.
  • Work with young researchers and training and development partners to develop appropriate materials which service providers would be likely to take up as part of their training offer and agree success criteria for training.
  • Co-production workshops: Young researchers (PPI) to work creatively with a group of professionals, to select and animate data extracts from the original project analysis for training.
  • Work with Young Researchers (PPI) to develop good practice guide in association with Coram BAAF.
  • Process evaluation questionnaires for young researchers, researchers and partners regarding PPI processes and outcomes of this work. Observation/analysis of meetings and meeting notes, including where PPI is discussed as an agenda item.

Piloting: Training materials will be piloted with up to 60 professionals within East of England local authorities and measured against co-produced success criteria.

Outputs and findings so far:

A summary of the research and its findings have been written in this ‘Speak Out Research Briefing

The study has produced an animated film that shares the experiences of young people in care from across England (ESRC data) for service providers: foster carers, residential staff, social workers, educators. This was developed in partnership with the Creative Research Collective. The film premiered at Norwich Pride on the 28th July, and is now available here: Speak Out on Vimeo

Further expected outputs:

Year 1:

  • Accessible, co-devised, research-led training materials available in various formats depending on the needs of service providers
  • Good practice guide published by Coram BAAF

Year 2

  • Peer reviewed article focused on the PPI element of the project.
  • Completed evaluation of the process of involving young researchers and partners in research implementation.
  • Piloting and adaptation of co-devised, research-led training materials with local authorities in the East of England.

Project Dates: April 2017 to March 2019 

For more information about the study, please see the ‘Speak Out’ website (hosted by UEA)

please contact Jeanette Cossar:

Information about other PPI theme projects can be found here. 

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