What do young people and families think?

In June 2021, we invited children and young people (in Year 5 and above) and parents/carers to complete a feedback survey: 351 parents/carers and 455 young people responded.

The WLZ Programme

100% of parents and carers, and 96% of children and young people, were happy with the programme delivered in the past year. This is consistent with the findings from our 2020 survey when 99% of parents were happy with the programme. We also found that 97% of parents felt that their child had benefited from the programme.

Areas of improvement

Most parents and children recognised an improvement in confidence.

“My daughter has gained in confidence. I can see her more confidence in her relations with her friends and with herself” primary parent

“They have helped me be more confident in myself and in my lessons and also helped me meet new people” secondary student

Other top areas of improvement included emotional wellbeing and motivation. This was the case when schools were open as usual but also through periods of school closure due to COVID-19. During lockdown, families felt the programme helped children and young people keep on track with their learning, and they appreciated the educational and practical resources (e.g., books, laptops, food vouchers) which Link Workers helped to provide.

The Link Worker’s role

The Link Worker’s role is invaluable to both children and young people and their families. The survey showed that the majority of children and young people trust their Link Worker (96%). They said that Link Workers provide a safe space to open up and talk about their feelings, with 95% saying they can ask their Link Worker for support if something happens.

“My Link Worker has been helpful because she's there when I need to talk to her, she's helpful with the stuff I need to talk about and gives good advice. She's supportive with my decisions, helps me make the right decisions” secondary student

In addition, parents and children commented on how working with the Link Worker, as well as with our delivery partners, helps to improve children’s regulation and expression of emotions.

“WLZ has helped me with my emotions and to better control my anger. They also helped me learn new things and to make a better version of myself” primary student

99% of parents and carers felt they can comfortably communicate with their child’s Link Worker and they said the Link Workers’ attitude, professionalism and willingness to help was most valuable.

“She’s so friendly kind and warm. Very down to earth and professional. Keeps you involved with what is on offer is engaging to children/ adults” primary parent

Specialist support and trips

Around 95% of parents and young people were happy with the specialist support and educational trips provided by the programme.

Parents commented on how their child had really enjoyed the support provided directly by our delivery partners and Link Workers and that they had noticed their child making progress over the sessions. Young people often recalled fun memories from these experiences and enjoyed being able to try new things, meet new people and develop new skills.

“All programmes were clearly chosen with great care and attention and provided support and areas of growth specific to my daughter” secondary parent

“I have liked working with others that I might not have worked with before” secondary student

Most parents and carers (77%) felt more able to access support for themselves and their child compared to before working with WLZ.

This relates to our focus on ‘joining up the system’ where we coordinate our support with the wider networks surrounding each young person, such as families, local services and extra opportunities in the community. In particular, parents expressed appreciation for the wider support we provided during the COVID-19 lockdowns to ensure they were able to access a range of services within the community.

“West London Zone checked on me and my family consistently throughout the lockdown. They also set up counselling for myself and organised food banks to deliver regularly to our house. Moreover, they signed my daughter up for a summer reading class, where she would work on her reading and English skills” primary parent

Insight and adaptation

We’re really pleased with the high satisfaction with the support provided. We are always eager to continuously improve our programme and the findings revealed a number of learnings:

Consider how we can better support families to be aware of and access support.
We will be considering how we can develop the ‘joining up the system’ element of the programme to ensure that in future, even more than 77% of parents feel more able to access support when needed compared to before working with WLZ. Read more about this in our latest newsletter.

Continue to develop our post-programme support.
Some parents said they would like more support beyond the two-year programme, and so we will be considering how existing projects (such as linking to local organisations in the final term of the programme, and our work with WLZ alumni) could contribute to this.

Investigate factors affecting survey response rates.
We received responses from 49% of parents/carers and 76% of young people. We believe this provides a good into the views of our families, but we are also conscious there is room for improvement. We will review how we collect feedback to ensure that our programme refinement is informed by the views of as many of our families as possible.

together, every child and young person can flourish.