Covid Recovery strategy activity overview and next steps report

This report identifies and captures key learnings from the implementation of the Covid Recovery strategy in order to inform future approaches to public service reform.

Person-centred policy and service design


Informed by the vision set out in the CRS, two Pathfinders in Glasgow and Dundee were established to support families out of poverty by testing innovative models through targeted local approaches.

Work is now underway to establish a programme of new partnerships with a small number of local authorities, building on the insight and learnings from the initial Pathfinders to deliver holistic, person-centred public services.

Areas to implement the Pathfinder approach were chosen based on where significant levels of child poverty were identified and where an asset-based approach could be implemented to build on existing local structures, expertise and good practice through an innovative partnership approach.

In early 2022, a series of workshops with partners across Glasgow were held to understand the barriers to tackling poverty, how they could be addressed, and to identify solutions for individuals and families.

As a result of these workshops, the Glasgow Child Poverty Pathfinder was established. The Pathfinder is working to deliver an ‘at scale’ exemplar of the No Wrong Door (NWD) concept across Glasgow to demonstrate the benefits of a whole system approach, that is consistent with the Christie Principles. The NWD concept reimagines the way the public sector works with children and families to support access to the most appropriate assistance for their circumstances.

The positive impact that the Glasgow Pathfinder is having can already be felt. By January 2024, 1,832 children have benefited from holistic case management support with a total of 906 families on low income completing a Holistic Needs Assessment through Glasgow Helps. In addition, many families who have not required full case management have also been supported and referred to services by the Pathfinder.

A Gateway Review conducted by Glasgow City Council, Glasgow University and the Improvement Service of users of Glasgow Helps in March 2023 showed 95% of service users rate the service at 8/10 or above and 90% felt that they were better able to cope as a result of Glasgow Helps.

Meanwhile, the Dundee Pathfinder is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Dundee City Council, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Social Security Scotland.

The Dundee Pathfinder is adopting a deeper, person-centred approach with families in the Linlathen area of the city. The approach uses a relational key worker model based on core principles of NWD and ‘tell your story once’ which provides person-centred holistic services rather than providing a referral pathway.

Key workers from Dundee City Council developed trusting relationships within the community and visited over 97 families as part of an initial targeted outreach approach. The key worker team now also includes representation from DWP, Social Security Scotland and School Age Childcare key workers. These representatives engage with individuals at their homes and at a weekly drop-in centre where families can access support from several partners and services depending on their needs and what matters to them.

By January 2024, 167 families from Linlathen had engaged with support. The popularity of the Pathfinder has resulted in people travelling from beyond the Linlathen area to attend the weekly drop-in to seek support. A further 647 families attended and were supported through the Pathfinder’s No Wrong Door approach. 34 households have been supported to secure employment, 11 of which are from the target area in Linlathen. 20 of these have been supported to successfully apply for further education, seven of which are from Linlathen.

Financial gains for families supported through the Pathfinder are significant at around £485,000, approximately £303,000 of which relates to Linlathen families. This figure includes projected employment gains projected for one year, where known, in addition to non-benefit sources. Financial gains from benefit sources stand at £172,500, of which £74,000 relates to Linlathen families. The increased benefit update covers a range of DWP and Social Security Scotland benefits.

Plans are underway to expand similar locality based approaches to other nearby neighbourhoods in Dundee.


The Pathfinders aim to change the system itself, as well as help individuals to navigate it. People are benefitting from access to support wherever they first present to the system, through a growing number of partners, that includes early learning and childcare and health settings, alongside Job Centres, in order to access the help that they need.

In Glasgow, over 98 organisations have now signed up to participate who, through collaboration and coordination between partners and their services, are able to provide comprehensive and integrated support.

Through the Pathfinder, the Scottish and Local Government are learning practical lessons about the characteristics of what works in terms of integrated, person-centred and outcome-focussed service provision.

None of this would have been possible without the establishment of multi-agency teams to make the Pathfinder work. Meanwhile the Scottish Government has been working internally to bring together policy teams to support a more holistic way of working.

The Glasgow Pathfinder is being evaluated alongside the Dundee Pathfinder and this work has recently resulted in the publication of an Early Implementation Process Evaluation Phase One Report. Phase 2 of the evaluation process commenced in Autumn 2023. Work is now underway to build on the insight and learnings from the initial Pathfinders to support Local Authorities in the delivery of holistic, person-centred public services across Scotland.



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