A paper from the Health and Care Research Wales funded pilot Social Return on Investment (SROI) evaluation has recently been published in the Aging and Mental Health journal.
The study explored a community-based day support service for people living with dementia (PLWD). Short breaks like day support can benefit PLWD and unpaid carers. However, most research focuses on more ‘traditional’ models of support, such as day centres. TRIO day support is based on a Shared Lives model: up to three citizens (PLWD) who share similar interests are matched with a paid companion who enjoys the same activities. Meeting weekly in the companion’s home, they visit community places and participate in social activities.
SROI evaluations value the outcomes that are important to stakeholders of the intervention. The net value of the outcomes is divided by the costs of providing the intervention to determine the return on each £1 invested. The outcomes were informed by a study-developed logic model created through a rapid evidence review and stakeholder interviews.
We measured and then applied a financial proxy to positive outcomes occurring for citizens, unpaid carers, and companions. These outcomes were underpinned by a triadic caring relationship. A small sample size means caution is needed when interpreting the SROI evaluation findings. Once service costs, displacement, deadweight, and attribution rates were accounted for, £2.82 was generated for every £1 invested. This value was present whilst people engaged with the service; we do not expect the value to last once people stop engaging. Most of the value generated could be attributed to citizens experiencing social connection, choice and control over their activities and greater confidence. Future, larger-scale SROI evaluations will increase our knowledge of the value created by community-based short breaks.
The recently published paper presents findings from the interviews conducted during the study. To access the paper please click here