Evaluation of Kent County Council’s Kent New Opportunities to Work (‘Kent NOW’) programme

Black, Rachel and Kenyon, Susan (2008) Evaluation of Kent County Council’s Kent New Opportunities to Work (‘Kent NOW’) programme. Other. Centre for Health Services Studies, Canterbury (Full text available)

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Abstract

Kent New Opportunities to Work (Kent NOW) has been developed by Kent County Council (KCC) to deliver the Second Local Public Service Agreement (LPSA2) target 8.2, to return 250 long-term Incapacity Benefit (IB) claimants to sustained (13+ weeks) employment. This report presents a qualitative evaluation of the programme, comprising interviews with service providers at three intervention sites, service users and others working with the same client group. The evaluation aims:  To provide a rich description of the interventions deployed in Folkestone, Maidstone and North Kent;  To reveal the experiences of the service users and staff who use or provide these interventions;  To uncover possible explanations for the limited success of the interventions in achieving the LPSA2 target;  In light of the above, to discover alternative perceptions of ‘success’;  To identify which aspects of each programme are performing most effectively and why; and  To provide recommendations regarding the future direction of future interventions with this client group. An overwhelming message from this evaluation is that Kent NOW is working within a very difficult environment, considering: the client group; the lack of prior knowledge of the client group, not just within Kent NOW, but throughout government, in light of the novelty of policy and action in this area; strategic and managerial difficulties; and the political environment. These factors have been shown to have impacted upon the ability of the interventions to achieve their goals to an extent that should not be underestimated. Lessons learnt from the Kent NOW programme can be taken forward and applied in future interventions with this client group. In this sense, the authors consider the Kent NOW programme to be successful, exposing the many barriers to returning long-term IB claimants to work. This evaluation has, in turn, highlighted the ways in which future interventions may overcome these barriers, increasing the likelihood of their future success.

Item Type: Monograph (Other)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Tony Rees
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2012 09:31
Last Modified: 12 May 2014 10:07
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/29721 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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