Evaluation Scotland Wales

evaluation

Managing Chang£...What works?

Evidence type: Evaluation i

Description of the programme

Managing Chang£ aimed to explore to what extent a financial capability intervention, delivered through a training and referrals process, would positively impact the money management skills, knowledge and behaviours of working age people with chronic or acute mental health conditions.

An intensive programme of financial capability training was provided to service users in late 2017. Training focused on money management (budgeting, borrowing, saving, using on-line and paper based tools), as well as signposting to free and impartial advice services in the areas of debt and income maximisation (e.g. benefit checks). 114 service users from 15 schemes engaged in the project; 44 service users took part in all training sessions.

Three, one-day, training sessions covering issues such as signposting, supported self-referrals, and financial capability mentoring were delivered to Inspire Mental Health Support Workers and Volunteers, who took on the role of Money Champion within their scheme. The three training sessions were delivered to 35 participants, including 30 Support Workers and five Volunteers.

The study

The main research question was: ‘What impact will a financial capability training and referrals intervention have on day centre service users experiencing acute or chronic mental health conditions?’ The evaluation design included an outcome and process evaluation, and limited cost effectiveness analysis. The evaluation captured a range of qualitative and quantitative data through pre-intervention and post-intervention surveys (including a post-training and a three-month follow-up survey), as well as interviews, focus groups, case studies and observational data. 82 surveys were completed by Money Champions across the baseline, post training and three-month follow-up surveys. The methodology required that service users and Money Champions completed a baseline survey before the first training session, a post-survey directly after the final training session, and a follow-up survey three months after the training.

Key findings

  • The evaluation captured a range of qualitative and quantitative data through pre-intervention and post-intervention surveys, as well as interviews, focus groups, case studies and observational data.
  • The evaluation found that Managing Chang£ delivered a positive impact to the levels of stress and anxiety experienced by service users in relation to money issues.
  • Service users increased their knowledge about where to access information and their confidence to speak about money issues. Service users felt more confident about managing their money and making appropriate financial decisions. The evaluation showed that the majority of participants used the tools and resources from Managing Chang£ to improve how they manage their money.
  • The evaluation demonstrated an improvement in the skills and knowledge of Money Champions. Money Champions were more confident speaking with service users, and felt that they could more easily access resources and signpost to services to address service users’ concerns.
  • Money Champions have been key to the success of Managing Chang£. They provided ongoing access to information and support on a day-to-day basis for service users, enabling them to sustain positive behaviours. Almost 70% of service users felt that continuing to be supported by a Money Champion would help them better manage their money. However, the majority of Money Champions reflected that they would need further support from Advice NI and Inspire to continue in this role.

Points to consider

Methodological limitations:

  • The outcome (impact) and process based evaluation methodology applied through the pre-intervention, post training and three-month follow up surveys, and focus group discussions, was appropriate for participants.
  • However the number of service users and Money Champions who completed all stages of the evaluation fell below the numbers required to support more detailed statistical analysis. Despite this the survey findings and focus groups discussions provided a strong insight into the impact of the Managing Chang£ project across all participants.
  • At the outset of the evaluation the support that service users required in order to complete evaluation surveys and participate in focus group discussions was underestimated.
  • It was a challenge for the Managing Chang£ project to track and report on outcomes achieved by service users who accessed advice organisations for additional support.
  • The relatively short time period is not long enough to determine if these changes will be sustained in the longer term.

Relevance:

  • The study is relevant to studies of mental health, wellbeing and financial capability.

Full report

Managing Chang£…What works? - full report

Key info

Activities and setting
Managing Chang£ aimed to explore to what extent a financial capability intervention, delivered through a training and referrals process, would positively impact the money management skills, knowledge and behaviours of people with chronic or acute mental health conditions.
Programme delivered by
Advice NI
Year of publication
2018
Country/Countries
Northern Ireland
Contact information

Advice NI1 Rushfield Ave., Belfast BT7 3FP training@adviceni.net