Skip to main content

The Boathouse Youth Charity Working With YMCA George Williams College

In January 2023 the College joined the Boathouse Youth Charity’s staff residential supporting them to redesign their theory of change and monitoring, evaluation and learning plan with socio-emotional skills in mind.

Since then, The Boathouse Youth team have been exploring three of the tools in our socio-emotional skill measurement system; the Youth Rating of Socio-emotional Skills, the Adult Rating of Youth Behaviour and the Youth Engagement Survey.

The team used these tools on a week long residential programme with 37 young people on canal boats. Despite the confines of the space and the busyness of the residential, the staff found they were able to use all three of the tools. The Youth Engagement Survey (YES) has showed the canal boat residential was well planned, met the young people where they were at, and engaged them. The baseline or start point measures from the Adult Rating of Youth Behaviour (ARYB) and Youth Rating of Socio-emotional Skills (YRSS) have shown these 37 young people have good levels of socio-emotional skills. This is potentially because they have been supported by The Boathouse Youth for many years already. The measures helpfully indicate a few areas where this group of young people could gain more skills, enabling the staff team to fine tune future opportunities for them to maximise their socio-emotional skills.

Next steps in the project are to extend the use of these three socio-emotional skill measures to a further 90 young people across different services, to implement a quality measure to explore the extent to which outcomes are achieved as a result of high quality practice, and to complete an end point ARYB and YRSS to understand the gains in socio-emotional skills these young people achieve over the course of a year.

Feedback from The Boathouse Youth Charity on the measures has been woven into our next round of improvements, including changes to the wording of some of the measures and our data portal and advice on implementation guides we could create.

We’re delighted to be able to work so closely with The Boathouse Youth Charity as a practice partner.

July 2023 update

Throughout spring 2023 The Boathouse Youth Charity have been establishing baseline measures of socio-emotional skills and engagement across their wide range of services. The staff team used the Youth Rating of Socio-emotional skills to understand young people’s self-ratings, the Adult Rating of Socio-emotional Skills and the Youth Engagement Survey (YES) to understand levels of engagement. YMCA George Williams College analysed the data and presented the findings in a baseline report. The baseline data set did not merely create a start point for future measurement, but also generated useful insights into the young people attending different services, current levels of socio-emotional skills and engagement. These informed practical decisions about service and programme design which can be used to further leverage the gains in socio-emotional skills of the young people. 

The Boathouse Youth Charity will continuously monitor engagement and will measure socio-emotional skills again in the autumn to understand which young people achieve outcomes and how they are distributed across their different types of services. They hope that the combination of the storytelling of the young people’s journeys and the hard data being gathered by the organisation will support young people to flourish.