Positive destinations

Positive destinations

Evaluating Barnardo’s support programmes for care-experienced young people

Photo from Bernardo's carejourneys.org.uk

What are Barnardo’s Care Journeys Strategic Partnerships?

Care Journeys Strategic Partnerships (CJSPs) are one of Barnardo’s Core Priority Programmes, part of their 10-year strategy focusing on outcomes for care-experienced young people. 

CJSPs were established in Brent and Plymouth in 2019 and will continue until 2025. The strategic partnerships with Brent and Plymouth aim to co-create transformational changes to care journeys using a ‘service design approach’ so that children and young people who have care experience are as or more likely to be in a ‘positive destination’ (employment, education, training, volunteering, other) by the age of 19—21.

How are we involved?

We have been contracted to carry out an evaluation of Care Journeys to follow the implementation of the project in Brent and Plymouth and to understand how the partnerships are being developed between Barnardo’s and Brent/Plymouth, and what key factors have enabled and hindered the development of the partnerships. We are also capturing outcomes for young people to assess how successful the partnerships are in achieving their intended goals.

We are using a mixed-method approach with qualitative data gathering, together with interviews, observations and quantitative data gathering, including Local Authority care leaver data.

What have we found so far?

As Care Journeys has been running since 2019, we have produced several reports bringing together insights from our analysis and reporting against outcomes that Care Journeys have achieved. Our latest interim report showed for example, that:

In Brent:

  • Care Journeys is finding more opportunities for young people to join, from social and leisure activities to training and paid roles, and with that young people are shaping the direct of the project.
  • Some early signs of culture change within the local authority (e.g., changes in ways of working) shows the potential to improve the systems for care-experienced young people.
  • young people who participated in Care Journeys activities reported some positive changes, such as increased confidence and self-esteem.

See below for the full interim report for both Brent and a young-people friendly summary.

In Plymouth:

  • the partnership between Barnardo’s and Plymouth City Council has matured and they are working more closely and effectively together.
  • the work of Care Journeys contributed to a greater focus on care leavers within the council, both through direct work with them and also strategically.
  • young people who took part in activities provided by Care Journeys reported different outcomes such as more engagement in positive actions such as seeking employment, looking after their health and making new connections.

See below for the full interim report for Plymouth and a young-people friendly summary.

What has been learned more generally?

To bring some of the learning together, we have produced learning digests, integrating learning from CJSPs and the wider literature on the three themes. The digests aim to support those involved in CJSPs and Barnardo’s, but also are of interest to anyone seeking to contribute to the improvement of social care.

  • Collaborations with care-experienced young people
  • Partnership working between local government and the third sector in children’s social care
  • Facilitating System Change in Children’s Social Care Settings

In addition the Plymouth Care Journeys and Brent Care Journeys websites provide more detail about each CJSP and their work.


Subscribe to our newsletter

The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations | 63 Gee Street, London, EC1V 3RS
hello@tavinstitute.org | +44 20 7417 0407
Charity No.209706 | Design & build by Modern Activity