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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.