Another way of measuring success is to look at impact in sharing the story of the work being done. Train for Trades has been recognized as a successful program/best practice numerous times including:
- 2014 – Train for Trades was featured as a promising practice in “What Works and for Whom? A Framework for Promising Practices” published by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (under the previous name the Canadian Homelessness Research Network).
- 2014 – Youth Homelessness in Canada: Implications for Policy and Practice– Train for Trades was featured as a case study in this book published by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (under the previous name the Canadian Homelessness Research Network) in the section on youth employment.
- 2012 – Eva’s Awards For Ending Youth Homelessness – Innovation in Programming - Eva’s, in conjunction with the Sprott Foundation and Virgin Unite, present four $25,000 awards annually to community initiatives that move beyond a response that simply addresses basic needs, and that demonstrate significant impacts and help prevent or break the cycle of youth homelessness.
- 2012 – T4T was featured as a Best Practice Model in Raising the Roof’s report “It’s Everybody’s Business: Engaging the Private Sector in Solutions to Youth Homelessness”.
“You can’t get a better opportunity for youth.” — Dylan, age 22, Tier 3 participant
Homeless Hub Thoughts:
It is important to be able to prove the success of a project in order to access grants and government funding. With a social enterprise, the method of evaluation may be different than in typical youth programs because the outcomes include both the work itself and the progress the youth have made. Your program will fail if you only have good outcomes in one area and not the other.
Much of this work can be measured simply – did this happen or did it not happen?
- How many youth started and finished the program?
- How many youth attended X workshop? X training class?
- How many youth received their GED?
- How many youth were accepted to post-secondary education or full-time employment?
However, it is advisable to develop a formal case management system to record the progress of youth though the program. Having a formal follow-up system in place with regular check-in points (i.e. six months after completion, a year after completion) would be useful for measuring long-term success of the intervention. Pre and post skills-based assessment surveys would also be useful to measure progress. While T4T has an in-depth application and interview process that can be used to establish a baseline for the youth they do not have a formal case management system nor do they complete post-training assessments. As discussed in the evaluation section, these can be extremely valuable.