Publication - Research and analysis

Evaluation of the Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund: interim report

Published: 23 Apr 2019
Directorate:
Housing and Social Justice Directorate
ISBN:
9781787816572

Iconic Consulting is conducting a formative evaluation of the core funding awards made by the CYPFEI & ALEC Fund.

Evaluation of the Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund: interim report
Appendix 2: Case Studies

Appendix 2: Case Studies

Children’s Parliament

The Children’s Parliament is a rights-based organisation that aims to build relationships that allow children the opportunity to voice their ideas, thoughts and feelings; so that their concerns and opinions can be listened to and included in our social and political landscape. This rights-based approach supports early intervention and prevention. It has two key focuses to the work it does: working directly with children through projects and consultations; and educating and equipping adults with knowledge and skills to take a similar approach in their own organisations. The Children’s Parliament received £200,000 of CYPFEI core funding in the first two years, and this year £235,000, with outcomes relating to children’s knowledge and understanding of their human rights; increased opportunities to participate in democratic processes; public bodies’ responsiveness to children’s needs; and extending the reach of children’s voices.

The funding has allowed the organisation to develop a higher profile and recognition in Scotland and internationally. These links and opportunities developed as a result of improved financial stability. In 2016 a first-time visit to Geneva with Scottish children led to better contacts and opportunities to share work at an international level. This year, 1,024 children have participated in a range of projects and consultations and 249 took part in events involving adults including the First Minister and the Scottish Cabinet, civil servants from Scottish Government and local authorities, colleagues from NHS and other public bodies, third sector organisations and universities.

“The funding provides the core stability and staffing that allows us to do this work and to draw in funding for more work – through having this core funding we are able to commit to these longer processes and programmes”. (Co-Director)

“The way we’ve been able to link what we do to national priorities, to developing policies and legislation, connecting to other things that are happening both nationally and internationally, has never been possible before just because we lacked the capacity”. (Children’s Voices Manager)

Through the CYPFEI funding the Children’s Parliament has been able to focus more energy on communications and relationship building. Its social media profile has grown significantly and generated profile and recognition that would not have been possible before due to lack of capacity. This improved profile is reflected in the number of requests now received to deliver consultations, deliver at conferences or events and other work across the Scottish public sector. There is now time and resource to explore additional ways to share what the organisation does.

The longer-term nature of the CYPFEI fund has impacted on staff retention and so improved retention and development of skills and knowledge. The funding also supports information sharing more widely than previously because of the improved profile and networks: for every activity the Children’s Parliament produces a report or leaflet and these are shared through social media at much higher rates than before. For example, during an event one looked after young person said that he wished that Social Workers wouldn’t wear their badges into school, that was tweeted after the event and was one of the most retweeted and liked tweets in Children’s Parliament history, making a huge impression and changing practice of some Social Workers.

“Because of the financial stability that we’ve had for the last 3 years, we’ve been able to grow at a rate that we wouldn’t have been able to before”. (Children’s Voices Manager)

“It’s made us more calm and that we’re not jumpy and twitchy, feeling that we can get out there and do it and not panicking all the time that we’re about to lose our jobs”. (Administrator)

Additional funding in this financial year has allowed the Children’s Parliament to create an additional management post, much needed because the number of project workers has grown in last few years without a matching increase in capacity to support them and their work.

The link with the Scottish Government Policy Officer has resulted in a noticeable increase in interaction with the rights and participation team and many more Government departments are recognising importance of the voice of children and of rights-based approaches. The Policy Officer and her team are really helpful in highlighting the opportunities that Children’s Parliament gives to others in Government and have facilitated a direct link to a cabinet meeting and other opportunities. The role of the Corra Foundation is also working well for the Children’s Parliament, brokering connections with the Scottish Government and with other organisations.

“[Relationship with the government] was more remote before and it’s got closer – it feels as if there’s someone in the middle there that’s enabling”. (Administrator)

Missing People

Missing People is the only UK lifeline for the 180,000 children and adults going missing each year, as well as for their families. In Scotland, over 12,500 individuals go missing each year, with Police Scotland receiving more than 20,000 reports of children going missing annually.

The organisation offers a free, 24-hour helpline for missing adults and children and live webchat (1-2-1 Chat) for children. For families, they offer emotional/practical support, help with the search, counselling and facilitate peer support.

In 2016, Missing People launched their plan to increase their reach in Scotland. They received £46,000 from the CYPFEIF fund in the first two years, with £50,000 awarded for 2018-19. Their stated outcomes for this core service funding include targets to increase the awareness and take-up of the Runaway Helpline, and extend the reach of police appeals for missing children through recruiting support partners. They also aim to ensure Police have more opportunities to find a child in a high risk situation by promoting Child Rescue Alerts to them, and increasing sign-up by the public.

The funding has been used to expand use of core services in Scotland, through raising awareness of the Runaway Helpline and live chat service as well as by developing more support partners and new media partners in Scotland. Missing People have been working closely with Police Scotland and also with partners such as Shelter Scotland to make sure that more young people are helped and kept safe, and know how to get the practical and emotional support they need. In 2017/18, 494 under 18s were sent a Textsafe® message; subscribers to Child Rescue Alerts now stand at 18,371 (mobile) 15,618 (email), and 176 children were helped. All of these outcomes are ahead of targets.

Working with partners is a core activity for Missing People, including, for example, work with Police Scotland to improve publicity appeals for missing people. The longer-term nature and credibility of this funding helps to ‘open doors’, providing time to develop and build partnerships. Missing People have been involved with Police Scotland and the Scottish Government in developing the National Missing Persons Framework for Scotland.

“We have such a brilliant relationship with Police Scotland and the funding has allowed us to invest time and energy in that”. (Director of Policy, Research and People)

The majority of young people who contact Missing People’s 1-2-1 live webchat through the Runaway Helpline are not yet missing, so webchat provides a key early intervention and prevention focus. Overall, the funding has allowed Missing People to develop networks in Scotland so that they can advise potential runaways about their risks of running away, what help they might get to prevent that happening and, if they do go missing, how to keep themselves safe.

“Directly the funding has led us to building our networks and developing our partnerships across Scotland… with the police, the Scottish Government and also with other agencies such as Shelter Scotland and the Health and Social Care Alliance”. (Director of Policy, Research and People)

The funding has also enabled Missing People to reflect on their monitoring information gathering – a challenging problem, since contact with missing people is anonymous, confidential and caller-led. The longer-term nature of the funding and the support provided by the Corra Foundation has helped Missing People to review and develop measures and proxy measures to better monitor the reach and impact of services.

The support that Missing People has received from the Scottish Government Policy Officer has been appreciated and beneficial to the organisation. The Policy Officer provides good links to the Government policy team and others, shares helpful briefings, information and data, attends events and facilitates ministerial attendance. He has brokered additional funding for collaborative work with Shelter Scotland and Barnardo’s Scotland to deliver training for front line practitioners on how to support people who’ve come back from being missing (Return Discussions).

“He is a useful single point of contact in the government who can link us in with all sorts of other people. He’s also really approachable, responsive, engaged and cares about the issue, definitely”. (Director of Policy, Research and People)

The relationship with the government Policy Officer also allows Missing People to have an input to policy developments, such as the National Missing Persons Framework for Scotland, lending their expertise and perspective to the work of the Scottish Government.

“They benefit in getting that broader perspective from organisations like ours to feed into their policy work so it feels like a win-win and it’s wonderful to see how open they are to that”. (Director of Policy, Research and People)

The Corra Foundation have also provided helpful support in facilitating reporting, highlighting relevant events and conferences, useful web links and resources to support some of their work – Missing People find Corra to be open, interested and engaged in their work in a way that is ‘extremely helpful’.

“There’s a really open dialogue, very informed and informative… because they wear two hats they truly understand the challenges that we have as recipients…. it’s been very, very good”. (Grants Manager)

Peeple 

Peeple’s main purpose is ‘to support parents/carers, babies and children to learn together - by valuing and building on what families already do’. Established in 1995 the charity aims to narrow the gap in children's outcomes by promoting the home learning environment through the delivery of Peep programmes including the Learning Together, Antenatal, and Early Communication Matters Programmes. Professionals from a wide range of sectors (including early years), trained in the programmes, use and promote the approach with families across the UK. Peeple has received £110,000 per annum from the CYPFEI & ALEC Fund to contribute to adult learning and children’s outcomes. The funding helps to sustain two full-time posts – a Development Manager and a Qualifications Manager – who are based in Peeple’s Scotland office.

The Development Manager is responsible for extending the reach of Peeple’s programmes in Scotland. Their remit includes raising awareness and promoting the programmes via various means including attending events and conferences across Scotland:

“We were recently in Shetland at a Play Scotland event and we provided workshops and met with local services like the College, a Family Centre and a pre-school play service to share information about the programme. There was really positive feedback from our workshops and we hope to have enough interest to get some practitioner training going”. (Development Manager)

The Development Manager is also responsible for practitioner training and during 2017/18, Peeple trained 1,174 practitioners across Scotland - almost twice the target of 600. The post-holder also quality assures the training and very positive feedback has been recorded via post-course evaluation forms. In addition, the Manager has developed Training and Support Agreements with nine local authorities where comprehensive support and training is provided to practitioners to facilitate the roll out of Peep in a way that best suits the needs of the local authority.

The Qualifications Manager is primarily responsible for rolling out the Peep Progression Pathway (parent qualifications). The Pathway consists of units that are SCQF credit rated by SQA (currently at SCQF levels 3, 4 and 5) that parents have the option to complete as part of their participation in the Learning Together Programme. The Qualifications Manager has enhanced the Pathway infrastructure in Scotland increasing the number of Delivery Centres from 4 in 2015 to 16 and this enabled 165 practitioners to be trained to deliver the Pathway to date. The post-holder works with the Centres to ensure suitable internal quality assurance officers and assessors are in place and provides ongoing support. To June 2018, 286 parents had completed at least one unit and 90 parents had progressed to further learning, volunteering and employment. The Manager has increased the number of College Agreements from 2 in 2015 to 10 and developed progression routes including guaranteed interviews and guaranteed places on childcare or health and social care courses. The post-holder is also working with a FE college to develop a SQA professional development award in family learning at SCQF level 7; this will address a gap which has been identified in current provision.

The Managers emphasised the importance of CYPFEI & ALEC funding in providing dedicated staff resources to enhance Peeple’s work in Scotland, and reported the positive experience has led Peeple to seek to replicate the model in England:

“If you didn’t have someone here as a named contact you wouldn’t have the opportunity to build relationships and trust which we know are so important. That’s one of the positives of having these posts. To be able to go and physically meet people is so much more effective for us as an organisation. Otherwise we’d be doing a lot of this work by email and telephone from our Oxford office. This came back really strongly when we did our How Good is Our Third Sector Evaluation – having named contacts in Scotland made a huge difference to our work because we were quick to respond as well as being proactive”. (Development Manager)

“Our Trustees now refer to the Scottish model and they see that as the beacon of quality within the organisation. They are looking for appropriate funding to replicate what we are doing in Scotland elsewhere. It’s not rocket science, it’s about building relationships, getting out on the ground”. (Qualifications Manager)

CYPFEI & ALEC’s multi-annual funding was also highlighted as significant:

“The three years allows us to do things properly, it’s about allowing it time to establish. Practitioners are our most important resource and the funding allows us to support them so they can roll out the Peep Programmes to a high standard. The two posts are complementary and having the time is really important because we tend to encourage newly trained practitioners to get Peep established first before they think about taking on an assessing role to deliver the parent qualifications.” (Development Manager)

In addition, CYPFEI & ALEC funding has allowed Peeple to increase its strategic role in Scotland and input to policy development. Examples include delivering workshops at the Early Learning Summit in April 2018, contributing to Education Scotland’s Family Learning Review and the 2020 Action Plan on Early Learning and Childcare, and a June 2018 meeting with the Minister for Children and Young People to showcase the Peep Learning Together Programme.

“The funding allows us the capacity to work at that strategic level which makes such a difference to us as an organisation. We have a good relationship with Scottish Government and Education Scotland – they really get what we are about and the importance of early education”. (Chief Executive Officer)

The organisation highlighted the positive impact of the Corra Foundation’s support and suggested it added value to the Fund. For example, Corra introduced Peeple to an external facilitator at the CYPFEI & ALEC conference who subsequently facilitated a Trustee and senior management away day.


Contact

Email: socialresearch@gov.scot