Jackie Dwane is a research fellow on the Research Evidence into Policy, Programmes and Practice (REPPP) Project in the University of Limerick. Jackie worked on the Action Research Project (ARP) to co-design and implement a new model of relationship practice with youth justice professionals. Jackie led the implementation evaluation for the project and is now working with colleagues to disseminate and implement the relationship model across all Youth Diversion Projects (YDPs) in collaboration with the Department of Justice.
Jackie previously worked as Youth Officer with the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board. The role included trialing a new framework for projects involved in a reform process with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and supporting the National Quality Standards Framework for youth projects and groups. Prior to her Youth Officer role, Jackie worked as Coordinator of a YDP in Limerick city. She has worked as a youth worker in various parts of Limerick city and with young people in Residential Care settings. Jackie is an experienced trainer and facilitator of Restorative Practice.
Jackie completed an MSocSc in Youth and Community Work in UCC in 2001. Currently in the second year of her PhD research, Jackie is interested in implementation science and examining effective co-creation processes. Jackie is a recipient of the Honourable Mr. Justice John Murray Scholarship for doctoral research from the School of Law, University of Limerick.
This paper outlines a methodological approach to implementation research in youth justice settings. A multi-site study examined relationships between youth justice practitioners and young people in Youth Diversion Projects (YDPs). We found that effective relationships in YDPs are a crucial change mechanism in reducing offending. We coded findings from a practitioner-led evaluation to the updated CFIR (1) to categorise implementation determinants. We co-designed an evidence-informed relationship model to guide effective relationship practices. The policymaker endorsed full scale out of the model. Young people can gain from high-quality practitioner relationships in all YDPs (n105).
The findings from the multi-site (n16) study inform four discrete implementation strategies (2). These involve capacity development and support measures to implement agile and effective relationships. We will conduct an antecedent assessment of attitudes towards the practice change (3). A process evaluation will examine practitioners’ experience of the model and capacity development strategies. Quarterly online meetings will collect systematic real-time qualitative insights from 105 project teams. We will also ask projects to answer one prescribed question to measure success as part of their discussion. We will record the transcripts from this longitudinal study for analysis.
We will provide quarterly evidence of the implementation experience to the funder. Later, we will analyse the data according to the Implementation Outcomes Framework (4).
This paper builds on knowledge from a three-year action research process. It proposes a method to advance scale-out and implement an evidence-informed relationship model. We welcome guidance from other methodologists and implementation experts to advance the methodology.