Outcomes Stars are holistic and empowering tools designed to meet the need for outcomes measurement whilst also improving keywork for service users, services and commissioners. There are over 30 different versions of the Star, each tailored to a specific sector and co-created with services and service users.
Each version consists of a set of scales presented in a friendly and accessible Star shape, covering the key outcome areas that are relevant in that sector. Underpinning these scales is a five stage Journey of Change – an explicit model of the steps people go through when making sustainable change in their lives.
Practitioners and clients like the Star because it’s simple to use, highly visual, person-centered and strengths-based.
For clients, the Star’s collaborative nature means that people are engaged in their own process of change, rather than being something ‘done to them’.
For practitioners, the completed Star gives a clear picture of clients’ needs and assets and it identifies where they are on their journey, breaking change down into manageable steps so that support is better targeted.
Each Star gives clear evidence of the impact a service is making across a number of outcomes and can help to bring a focus on outcomes to the commissioning process. Commissioners are already using the Stars to support contract management and in some cases to contribute to a ‘payment by results’ approach.
In addition, the Star provides a consistent and accessible framework that can improve keywork within services and can help put personcentered planning into action. Because the Outcomes Star is an integral part of assessment, support, planning and review, it doesn’t divert valuable resources from direct work with clients, making it popular both with workers and the people they support.
Evidence-based and recommended
Each Star is developed by Triangle Consulting Social Enterprise in the UK in collaboration with experts in the field: voluntary organisations; professionals; key workers; service users and support groups. It is then piloted and revised in the light of the pilot’s findings before finally being published.
Outcomes Stars are widely used in the UK by voluntary organisations large and small. International interest in the Outcomes Star is also growing and it is used in several countries around the world such as Australia, Canada, France and Finland amongst others.
Services wishing to use the Star must have licences and training, as good implementation is key to using the Star well.