Consultation and engagement
The Group were keen to know what children, young people, their carers, professionals and providers need to ensure looked after children are supported to achieve their potential. In partnership with Scottish Government, Social Work Scotland, COSLA and The Fostering Network and on behalf of the Group, a model was developed that utilised focus groups to capture richer, more in-depth information, as well as a survey to gather the views of partners and stakeholders.
A Community of Interest model built around a foster, kinship and adopted child was developed. The model aimed to support a range of perspectives and experiences including carers and support workers, focusing on their current situation with regards to care allowances and overall support for a looked after or adopted child, and the ways in which this can be improved. As the Community of Interest was built around children in each care setting, it ensured the needs of the child remained the focus throughout.
The focus groups were delivered by local authority practitioners, as well as third sector partners. The Group were also keen to hear from children and young people and several focus groups were held specifically to listen to the views of looked after children, following a similar model. In addition to the in depth discussions happening through the Communities of Interest, a survey was developed and circulated to capture the views of stakeholders and carer networks, focussing on the key themes that were being considered by the working group. The findings of the survey and the Communities of Interest work are available separately and underpin the rationale for the draft recommendations.
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