Family Hubs Evaluation
Between 2018 to 2021, researchers from Warwick Business School conducted evaluations with the Coventry Family Hubs. Two evaluations were conducted by research fellows under the guidance of Professor Graeme Currie.
Whilst both evaluations were undertaken separately, we compare data from the same group of stakeholders. One reason that being able to do this is particularly helpful is it presents information about the development of the Family hubs prior to COVID-19 and then during the pandemic.
Policy and Practice Partners:
Coventry City Council
Aims and Objectives:
For ease we refer to the two projects as phase one and phase two.
The first research project conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic between 2018-2020 focused on the implementation of the family hubs. The key aims of this project were:
1. To measure the continuous improvement in the collaboration(s) between the partners in each of the hubs. Indicatively this focused upon organizational culture and workforce management.
2. To gain a better understanding how community assets might be able to engage more effectively as equal partners to ensure better population health outcomes and, in time, how other community assets might be further embedded in the delivery of the service.
The second research project began just prior to COVID-19. Research questions were co-produced between WBS and Coventry City Council in the second attempted to examine the ways in which the network of new organizations had begun to work together. Specifically, the scoping study aimed to:
1. Better understand how the collaboration(s) between the partners in each of the hubs were developing, focusing upon organizational culture and workforce management.
2. Understand in further granularity how communities and their assets might be engaged as equal partners to ensure better population health outcomes, and to make some initial recommendations that might serve to do this.
Qualitative Research Methods were used in both phases, this included semi structured interviews(phase 1 n=15, phase 2 n=22) , survey (n=42) and ethnographic observations (n=10)
Currently the project is in phase 2 data collection and data analysis stage. There are three areas identified in our initial phase of fieldwork undertaken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. First, certain stakeholders had not engaged with the vision of the Hubs. The second observation related to data sharing and risk, and the third concerned the physical space.
While the study is ongoing, from the current analysis we have started to note that the evaluation of the family hubs from 2018-2021 shows the development of the hubs from a nascent, fragmented partnership to an entity that is becoming an increasingly vital community asset organisation for integrated health and social care in Coventry. Through the evaluation we have seen the development of partnership working, the use of the hub for emergency use during the pandemic, the ability of the hubs to react innovatively and flexibly in crisis situations. At the same time, we have also noted areas of development, namely the perceived council control on the hub as impacting partnership development, for example, in the use of the hub space. Resource sharing and information silos are still issues that need to be continually addressed. Building of new partnerships outside the health and social care areas may also need further development. This shows that the hubs will require to continue to focus on their development as integrated health and social-care service organisations.
Implications for Implementation: