8. Impact on services
COVID-19 Glasgow Research Briefing: Local Service Responses
Source: Children's Neighbourhoods Scotland
Date: September 2020
This briefing focuses on learning in relation to how local service providers in Glasgow have responded to the crisis. Key points and recommendations:
- The positivity, energy and 'can do' attitude of third sector organisations during this pandemic was clear. Third sector organisations adapted very quickly and provided different types of service to ensure that families were still receiving support.
- During the pandemic third sector organisations were the 'primary engagers' who provided support to children and families, often extending their service provision to other family members and other areas of the city. At the frontline they provided essential services and were quick and agile in their response to the crisis.
- Action should be taken to explore ways to resource, support and harness the local action seen during the pandemic and build grassroots agency and capacity within communities.
- Stable grant funding which was able to be used flexibly was a fundamental enabler of the COVID-19 third sector response. Learning from the faster temporary grant funding measures and the flexibility adopted under the COVID-19 emergency response should be used to inform the development of a long-term approach to third sector funding.
- A strategic partnership is required between the public and third sector – including a shared mechanism for strategic emergency planning and a shared digital infrastructure to enable and support collaborative working.
COVID-19 Glasgow Research Briefing: Collaboration
Source: Children's Neighbourhoods Scotland
This briefing focusses on learning in relation to the enablers and barriers to collaboration between services working in high poverty neighbourhoods in Glasgow and offers recommendations on how future collaboration can be further developed. Key points and recommendations:
- Many third sector workers recognised the historic significance of the COVID-19 pandemic and that the response required building a new form of solidarity. Existing tensions with other organisations were set aside and organisations demonstrated what could be achieved by working together.
- Despite responsive operational partnerships working well, the potential for a cross-sectoral approach to emergency response planning and recovery was not fully realised. The third sector were not wholly recognised as providing essential public services during this emergency.
- A stronger strategic partnership is required between the public and third sector – including a shared mechanism for strategic emergency planning and a shared digital infrastructure to enable and support collaborative working.
- The key role of interface organisations in coordinating, sharing information, facilitating learning and collaboration and identifying gaps in service provision should be recognised.
- Community planning processes should be sustained and embedded as a key mechanism for multisector emergency and recovery planning.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Supporting People at Higher Risk - Survey of Third Sector Organisations
Source: Scottish Government
Date: 24 November 2020
This research aimed to assess the extent to which third sector organisations have been supporting at-risk groups locally and how they have been doing so. The data is drawn from an online survey which ran between 21 July and 7 Aug and was completed by 530 organisations. Although the findings do not specifically relate to children's services they will be of interest to those working with third sector organisations. Key findings:
- Children and family groups supported by third sector organisations included children and young people, parents and families, carers, and survivors of domestic abuse. The most common types of support provided (to all groups as a whole) befriending and isolation support, food support, medicine support and financial support.
- A large majority of respondents (83%) believed that people at risk were effectively supported in their area. However, less than half of respondents (47%) felt that everyone in need had been reached. The main reasons for this included digital exclusion, underserved groups (e.g. disabled people, asylum seekers and refugees), funding and resource constraints, and people not asking or not knowing where to go for help.
- Greatest areas of need in relation to children and young people were concerns about vulnerable children, tense family situations during lockdown, access to services for children and young people with additional needs, and general pressures for families.
- Priorities for recovery included building confidence in return to normal life, longer-term health harms, public transport, unemployment and reprioritisation of normal services.
- Key concerns about supporting those in need as the pandemic develops included funding, volunteer numbers, staff burnout and adapting services.
- The early response of the third sector and collaborative working is emphasised.