WINGS to Fly
What can be Learned from the Evaluation of a Programme for Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing and the Resulting Knowledge Partnership?
Keywords:Early childhood, Social and emotional wellbeing, Self-regulation, Professional development, Realistic evaluation, Knowledge partnership
This article describes the partnership between Pathways to Resilience Trust and human services and social work educators at Griffith University during the evaluation of the WINGS to Fly programme in Queensland, Australia. WINGS is a professional development programme to support educators in early years services to improve outcomes for children from birth to five years of age. Designed as a strengths-based approach, WINGS encourages educators to bring a curiosity to their practice, and to notice the impact of their interactions and communication on children developing social and emotional skills. The pilot was examined based on realist evaluation principles. The findings suggest the training and resources provided to educators acted as facilitating mechanisms that improved their skills and capacity to support children’s social and emotional learning and a greater sense of wellbeing. The learnings from this programme and the partnerships established laid the foundation for a more formalised knowledge partnership. This knowledge partnership extended to the development, implementation and evaluation of youth-oriented programmes based on the key concepts of the Neurosequential Model in Education to further explore what works and how service models in human services are evolving, and in turn, influence social work teaching and research activities.
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