A personal outcomes approach means that organisations focus on what matters to people and their families. This may sound simple. Focusing on outcomes is consistent with person-centred planning and support, and reflects many of the values and principles embodied in professional training. But too often our system tends to focus on what is important to services, especially when it comes to measuring and reporting information. the Talking Points practical guide includes discussion of the system changes required
A personal outcomes approach involves finding out what matters to people, recording that and linking information up to project, service, organisational or national outcomes. Systems need data, but if staff are under too much pressure to gather data for systems purposes this can lead to ‘filtering’ of the conversation and potentially missing the point. Additionally, because systems have tended to focus on approaches which accentuate deficits rather than potential, refocusing on outcomes can be challenging in practice. Feedback consistently emphasises that shifting towards a focus on personal outcomes takes time.
It has been identified that it is not enough to produce outcomes focussed tools and provide one off training events. Evidence shows that other forms of continuing support are required for outcomes focussed practice, and consideration should be given to developing outcomes focussed supervision for staff, and continuing opportunities to share learning and good practice examples etc. You can find materials to support outcomes focused leadership, supervision and a balanced approach towards risk in the next section.
Changing the conversation in the organisation
To get started you might want to use the Conversation Opener cards developed by Iriss. These cards are designed to help to change the conversation in the organisation as a whole, and include prompts to think about outcomes, risk enablement
To summarise the key points:
- Embedding outcomes within an organisation takes a long time and is best understood as a journey.
- It can be helpful to think about three components of a personal outcomes approach: engagement, recording and use of information
- It is not enough to produce tools and provide one off training events. Practitioners need ongoing support and supervision to support the change in practice.
Practitioners cannot be expected to be outcomes focussed in their practice if their organisation is not outcomes focused too.