YoungMinds

Evaluating the difference the Young Minds Parents' Helpline makes

In 2017 Fiveways were commissioned by YoungMinds to repeat an independent evaluation of its Parents Helpline service that we had originally designed and conducted in 2014.

The aims of the evaluation were to:
• identify the difference that using the helpline has had on parents, their family and on wider services
• identify aspects of the helpline service that might be improved and confirm aspects that it currently does well
• highlight any major differences in audience need, service use, or outcomes achieved, between 2014 and 2017.

The research methodology was a blended approach of a quantitative online survey and qualitative in-depth telephone interviews.

Fiveways provided the charity with evidence that, despite a clear increase in the levels of needs, anxiety and emotional distress experienced by parents using the helpline, YoungMinds continues to deliver a valuable, high quality service. We also provided insight into how different ways of contacting the helpline were being used and could be improved.

Overall, our evaluation found that nine out of ten parents who use the helpline service find it beneficial, and a small but significant group find that it makes a significant positive difference to their lives with one in seven parents describing the experience of using the YoungMinds Parents Helpline as a “life saver”.

“Fiveways executed the evaluation flawlessly and we had complete confidence in their integrity and rigour. Working with Fiveways was a very positive experience. We developed an honest, friendly and professional working relationship which paid off as they delivered an end product that YoungMinds is very happy with.”

Jo Hardy, Acting Head of Parent Services, YoungMinds.