There were three outreach challenges which were relevant across the six GOAL programmes:
- Challenges related to the characteristics of the target group
- Challenges related to resources (time and money)
- Challenges related to accessibility.
In addition to these challenges that were faced across GOAL as a whole, focusing on particular target groups created additional outreach challenges for some teams. These additional challenges for some countries were: challenges related to employers and challenges related to working in prisons.
Achievements and lessons learned
Most countries achieved their service user recruitment targets for GOAL, with Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Flanders exceeding their original targets. Iceland fell slightly short of the target of 100 service users. In the Netherlands, target numbers for screening adults with potential low literacy were exceded, but monitoring data were only collected on a small proportion of screened clients.
Service users had a broad range of different routes into GOAL. As shown in Table 7.4. the most common routes were referral from employment/unemployment services (30%), self-referral (15%), and referral from social welfare services (14%).
Among the strategies used to achieve programme outcomes, “reaching in” to organisations was particularly successful. Through this approach, programme staff overcame many outreach hurdles.
Most countries made great strides in developing and strengthening partnerships. Extensive GOAL efforts to cultivate partner relationships and networks, coupled with partners’ eventual willingness to work with GOAL teams, led to a step change in partners’ understanding of and attitudes towards GOAL. This, in turn, led to greater referrals from organisations that GOAL was “reaching in” to.
In some countries, particularly Slovenia, more direct outreach efforts were effective in increasing the profile of guidance in the local environment. These efforts included information booths at employment services, social services centres, in the local community, in libraries and at local events.