Annex 3: Engagement and information activity
11. The Scottish Government took steps to promote the consultation, and encourage responses from those affected by historical abuse. They worked with relevant organisations to help facilitate engagement, and support survivor participation.
12. The consultation team identified a range of potential barriers to participation in the consultation, including the emotional, technical and complex character of the content and questions. In order to make the process as inclusive as possible respondents were able to complete the consultation questionnaire online or complete and return by post or email; respondents could also submit free narrative responses by post or email. An information phone line was also set up to answer questions on the consultation context and process.
13. More widely, a communication and awareness raising strategy was implemented to reach as many interested parties as possible, with survivor organisations were also encouraged to promote the consultation thorough their own routes.
14. Direct email communication highlighting the launch of the consultation was sent to survivor organisations, relevant national professional bodies, universal services (for example, housing, social work, and health), and individuals working with groups typically described as hard to reach such as the homeless, and the travelling community.
15. Organisations were encouraged to get in touch with any ideas to support survivor engagement and awareness, with a standing offer for Scottish Government representatives to meet with staff teams, existing small groups of survivors, or to discuss the option for small groups to be created for the purpose of delivering information sessions.
16. Information sessions for survivors and those working with survivors took place, as follows:
- Meeting with Survivor Support Innovation and Development Fund Network
- Multi-agency information meeting for practitioners and managers
- Meeting with representatives of organisations working with survivors including Future Pathways and Wellbeing Scotland
- Three survivor information sessions in Glasgow (two events) and Aberdeen.
17. Around 45 people attended the meetings hosted by organisations, and around 60 people attended the three survivor information sessions.
18. The key aim of the survivor information sessions was to explain the consultation process and provide background to the individual questions. The aim was not to gather responses to the questions as it was acknowledged that individuals would need time, support and space to consider their answers. Individuals were encouraged to submit responses in their own time following attendance at an event.
19. Information sessions involved a presentation by Scottish Government representatives and a separate session was organised for participants to consider matters independently. Follow-up sessions without the presence of Scottish Government were then held, either later in the day or on a separate day from the original input session.