Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A Frank! look at running Focus Group with Kids

In our work with Diabetes UK we have run a number of Workshops/focus groups with kids. These are some of the things that I have learnt along the way. This is not an absolute guide but it hopefully provides some useful tips. Please note that the tips should be adjusted to be age appropriate.

1)      Create a trusting atmosphere where all the participants feel they can talk freely. With slightly older kids I talk about the ‘Chatham House rule’ where ‘comments are not attributed to speakers’ so people can talk freely. I also often suggest to the kids that we agree that ‘what is said in the room stays in the room’.

2)      Set some rules that all the kids agree to. These can include: don’t talk over each other, give every one who wants it the chance to speak, listen to what other people say and value what other people say.  Most importantly tell everyone one in the room that they cannot get a question wrong, that this is not a test.

3)      Treat every child in the room as an expert and treat them with respect, tell them why you are doing the research and its aims. Make them feel valued