Better by Design (BBD) is a new innovative project, developed by Achieving for Children (AfC) in collaboration with the University of Birmingham. BBD comprises a different way of working with young people who present particularly challenging behaviours. It combines social learning principles with collaborative problem solving approaches, in order to build the skills and capabilities of young people in care, or on the edge of care. The aim is for them to manage their own challenges, difficulties and relationships in a different and more constructive way, and thereby improve their behaviours and the way they relate to others. The Department for Education, alongside AfC, commissioned Frontier Economics and Ipsos MORI to carry out an independent evaluation of the implementation of the programme (a ‘process’ evaluation) and an evaluation of outcomes for young people (an ‘impact’ evaluation).
This report highlights important learning points about what has worked well and what has not as part of the process evaluation. It also provides an initial (although partial) assessment of the financial cost of the BBD programme compared to the likely costs of looking after, or working alongside, the young people in the absence of BBD.