Spaghetti lab day 2

We checked in first thing with a summary of how we found day 1, our understanding of the brief from the Fostering service and our thoughts for the day ahead. 

Today’s sessions were about insights and ideas!


It was clear that we needed some fine tuning of the brief and after some pre coffee  discussion agreed it could be summarised as

‘Engaging new foster care applications and then keeping applicants engaged’ 


We spent some time going through what we had learned so far,  what are the facts and what insights do we have.

e. g.  we know we want to increase foster care applications from 27  to around 144 per year,  the process is repetitive for applications and there is out of date content on website.


Insights such as – struggling to  keep the website up to date,  lack of clarity on the foster care process and a  wide funnel but low conversion rate.

We used the insights to begin  thinking about empathy mapping,  rather than personas .  We wanted to understand behaviour,  concerns and  aspirations of potential applicants.

Armed with a basic understanding of the facts and insights,  we stepped out into the autumn sunshine to find some potential foster carers!

We split into 2 groups,  leaving Tim back at the lab to do some telephone research.


We managed 8 interviews,  which were very enlightening,  including 2 people keen enough to want more details! Of note were the facts most people new something about foster care or knew someone that looked after a foster child and they also talked about financial and emotional rewards along with a lot risk.


After lunch we interviewed Aleysha,  who had been in foster care since the age of 13 and Joy who is a social worker in a residential care home for children.  This was a very thoughtful and moving interview,  giving great insight  into the realism of foster care from both the  child’s perspective  and the carer perspective.   Therer was a contradiction  how you sell the foster care  role and the reality of the challenging nature of the role.  Army recruitment and boot camp were mentioned as similar processes.


The empathy mapping exercise initially lacked clarity,  we then split it into potential applicants and those with actual experience.  It was easier then  to see different factors affecting each group.

We tried to bring together our understanding of everything we’d heard over the day and group together common themes. We gathered these as Key insights


We finished the day thinking about,  more detailed analysis of the issues and barriers along with potential territories and ideas that may be considered in pre alpha prototyping.

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