Our Impact

Khulisa’s programmes are proven to be effective in reducing re-offending and improving participants’ mental health and wellbeing.  As well as helping participants who are openly demonstrating self‐destructive behaviours, Khulisa’s programmes have had an equally transformational impact on young participants who are disengaged or emotionally vulnerable, helping them to identify some of the roots and triggers for their behaviour.

Theory of Change

Khulisa measures carefully selected core outcomes based on our Theory of Change. This draws on robust evidence placing social and emotional wellbeing at the heart of positive life outcomes for young people at risk of social exclusion. By ‘social and emotional wellbeing’, we mean “the strength and capacity of our minds to grow and develop, to be able to overcome difficulties and challenges and to make the most of our abilities and opportunities” (Young Minds, 2006).

Why focus on Social and Emotional Learning and Wellbeing?

Evidence shows that social and emotional learning and wellbeing is central to successful life outcomes for all young people. There is international evidence that social and emotional learning reduces mental health issues, prevents criminal behaviour and promotes not only academic achievement, but lifelong learning, satisfaction and success. Social and emotional learning is successful for young people from across all backgrounds, and is especially effective for disadvantaged young people

How we work

All our programmes are delivered by highly qualified therapeutically trained professionals. We build the social and emotional skills of young people through a mixture of drama-therapy, small group and 1:1 sessions, training professionals who support young people, strength-based and restorative approaches. The diagram below shows how our focus on social and emotional learning helps young people to address and overcome the root causes of challenging behaviour.

The process of change

Improved social and emotional skills and wellbeing form the basis for positive longer-term life outcomes. These longer-term outcomes are not limited to the absence of crime, exclusion or negative behaviour. They include meaningful engagement with others and society and positive and productive life choices that promote well-being. This will look different for every individual. The focus is on flourishing and thriving rather than compliance and desistance.

We look for positive long-term changes in the following outcomes across all programmes:

  • Perceived life satisfaction – how satisfied individuals feel with the quality of their lives overall.
  • Social and emotional wellbeing – we measure both how a participant feels and how well they are functioning.
  • Reduced negative mental wellbeing markers: reduction of reported negative mental health markers such as sleep patterns, concentration levels and anger.

We use pre and post evaluation measures, and strive to follow up with participants 3, 6- and 12-months post-programme where possible. Our data collection tools are based on validated frameworks, considered ‘gold standard’ measures for life satisfaction and wellbeing. Our Theory of Change has been validated by Project Oracle Standards of Evidence – Standard 1.  

Key Findings

Results from two recent external evaluations (funded by the Cabinet Office and conducted by Restorative Justice for All and the University of Central Lancashire) found that Khulisa’s programmes successfully decreased anger and hostility, as well as verbal and physical aggression.  The programmes also had a positive impact on how young people responded to stressful events.

  • Only 7.6% of participants went on to re-offend (vs 31% control group)
  • 98% of pupils were reported to have demonstrated a positive change in behaviour
  • Over 91% of participants were reported to be in school and performing well, 12 months after the programme was completed

Other Impact Reports

Silence the Violence (Prison Programme)

Face It (School Programme)

* indicates required