The Make Our Rights Reality (MORR) is a multi-faceted legal rights education and social action training programme designed for 15 to 25 year-old disadvantaged and vulnerable young people (e.g., care leavers, mental health problems). The MORR program comprises a) 2-5 core legal rights training sessions covering 9 hours and 18 activities and b) social action projects.
This report presents findings from a process evaluation of the programme, commissioned to help gain a better understanding of: 1) Who engages with the programme and how 2) What the core rights training looked like 3) What the social action projects looked like and 4)Whether there was evidence to suggest the rights training was successful on its own terms. An additional aim was to suggest a research strategy for evaluating the impact of the programme (or parts of the programme) on outcomes for young people (to be addressed in the final version of the report).A mixed method realistic process evaluation was conducted. Young people who took part in MORR completed self-report measures of demographics and prior legal rights issues, reasons for engaging in MORR, outcome measures (self-efficacy, empowerment and well-being) and knowledge of the core rights training. Qualitative data were collected by interviews and focus groups with 20 young people and all 6 staff facilitators, in addition to 8 site observations.
- Who engages with the programme and how? Whilst the majority of young people recruited to take part in the programme were recruited from community settings, issues with uptake resulted in the hubs proactively recruiting individuals from and conducting the training in educational settings. Overall, there was a 65% completion rate of the core course. The evaluators found that young people were more likely to complete the course if they had higher levels of well-being or self-efficacy at the start of the course. Young people were less likely to engage in the course, and more likely to exit early, if they did not perceive it as relevant to their daily life (i.e., they had no prior or current experience of legal rights issues), if they had chaotic life circumstances and if they were concerned about being able to comprehend the course. As such, adaptations may need to be made to the programme to ensure that it engages those young people who are in greatest need of it.
- What did the core rights training look like? The core training programme involved 9 hours of 18 modules delivered in 2-5 sessions in a group format of 4- 12 young people. Facilitators adhered to the core training manual according to observations and interviews in general but adapted the material in three ways: 1) handouts were condensed or restructured, 2) the order or activities was changed and 3) the pace of activities was altered. Facilitators reported that these adaptations were essential to meet the needs of young people in the groups, and young people reported that the flexible format of the course was very important to ensure it was comprehended by all participants (e.g., by repeating content that was not initially understood).
- What did the social action projects look like? In the timescale of the evaluation, social action projects were fully underway in two hubs, related to LGBT and mental health. Twenty young people described in interviews and focus groups more informal social action pathways, ranging from providing advice and support to friends and family about rights-based issues to informing ongoing social action activity they were involved in.
Figure 1: A process map produced by the evaluators summarising the operation of the programme in practice.