Publication - FOI/EIR release

Funding and grants provided to Relationships Scotland: FOI release

Published: 10 Jan 2022

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
10 Jan 2022
Funding and grants provided to Relationships Scotland: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100252824
Date received: 3 Nov 2021
Date responded: 2 Dec 2021
Information requested

All funds and grants provided to Relationships Scotland, 18 York Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3EP, and Family Mediation Highland, 46 Church Street, Inverness, IV1 1EH from the Scottish Government to be provided to me. I'm looking for the following (Detailed):

  • Funds provided to Relationships Scotland from the Scottish Government for each tax year over the last 10 years.
  • I'm looking for the conditions and agreements that they promised to meet in exchange for this money.
  • I'm looking for evidence that they have provided to prove they are entitled to the money and are meeting their commitments.
Response

I am able to provide some of the information you have requested. However, there is some information you have requested that the Scottish Government does not have.

We are unable to provide the information requested in relation to Family Mediation Highland, 46 Church Street, Inverness, IV1 1EH. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have all of the information you have requested.

Whilst Relationships Scotland is not a Scottish public authority subject to FOISA, they may be able to provide you with further information regarding their relationship with Family Mediation Highland, and any funding they have provided to them. You can find information about how to contact Relationships Scotland on their website: Contact us – Relationships Scotland (relationships-scotland.org.uk)

Much of the information you have requested regarding funding provided by the Scottish Government to Relationships Scotland, and conditions and agreements attached to this funding, was released in response to a previous FOI request (our reference: 202000092021). The previous response provides that information for the years 2014/15 to 2020/21. Due to the size of the file, I am unable to attach the previous response with this letter. I am therefore providing you a DropBox link, from which this document can be downloaded within the 7 days from the date of this letter: https://www.dropbox.com/t/PrejrJTZMmupsoTB.

If you are not able to download the document within the next 7 days or if you encounter any issues with the link, please contact us at the address below and we will be happy to provide.

I have provided most of the remaining information you have requested below:

1. Scottish Government Funding to Relationships Scotland, 18 York Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3EP, per annum:

2012/13 - £676,935 – Unified Voluntary Sector Fund – funding for Relationships Scotland Head Office
2013/14 - £56,411.25 – extension of Unified Voluntary Sector Fund for Relationships Scotland Head Office
2013/14 - £1,750,000 – Strategic Funding Partnership for Relationships Scotland Head Office and Local Network

As discussed above, information for the years 2014/15 to 2020/21 is provided in the response to 202000092021

2021/22 - £1,530,000 - Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention & Adult Learning and Empowering Communities (CYPFEI&ALEC) Fund
2021/22 - £700,000 - Child Contact Centre grant

2. As discussed above, information for the years 2014/15 to 2020/21 is provided in the response to 202000092021.We are unable to provide a copy of the conditions and agreements from 2012/13 for Relationship Scotland as we do not hold this information. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have all of the information you have requested. I have provided information relating to 2013/14 and 2021/22 below.

2013/14 – Strategic Funding Partnership for Relationships Scotland and Network of Local Services (extract from offer of grant letter)

Policy Conditions
7.1 Relationships Scotland and its Network of Local Services has submitted an agreed work programme for the year to the Scottish Government listing the activities, outputs and outcomes that the grant funding will support in the year 2013-2014, before the end of June 2013. Major strands of work will include activity to support the organisation’s national office core functions, and the Network of Local Services delivery of family mediation, child contact centres and relationship counselling. It is a condition of the grant that Relationships Scotland and the Network of Local Services will report regularly on progress against the work programme, including a written report each six months, to be discussed jointly at a meeting between the partners to this agreement.

7.2 Relationships Scotland and the Network of Local Services will work collaboratively and participate in opportunities for joint working, with the Scottish Government and other third sector organisations, on the development and implementation of policy initiatives designed to improve outcomes for children, young people, and the families and communities who support them across Scotland.

7.2.1 Relationships Scotland and the Network of Local Services will work collaboratively with Scottish Marriage Care to ensure that relationship support services are provided in a clear, seamless and easily accessible way for individuals, couples and families across Scotland. The work programme detailed above at 7.1, should include agreed joint activities with Scottish Marriage Care, to demonstrate a collaborative approach to optimising relationship support and services available across Scotland.

7.3 Relationships Scotland and the Network of Local Services will provide honest and early feedback to the Scottish Government on developments, in respect to issues that relate to these outcomes.

7.4 Relationships Scotland and the Network of Local Services will act as a source of expertise and experience to the Scottish Government on development and implementation of policy initiatives designed to improve outcomes for children, young people, and the families and communities who support them across Scotland.

7.5 Relationships Scotland and the Network of Local Services will collaborate on external communication or handling external media interest where there is a matter of mutual interest.

7.6 Relationships Scotland and the Network of Local Services will continue to explore other income streams aimed at supporting its own sustainability in future years.

2021/22 – Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention & Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund

Outcomes:

  • Children, young people and families will have increased opportunities to benefit from a high quality, consistent family and relationship support service across the whole of Scotland.
  • Relationships Scotland counsellors, mediators and other practitioners will be more skilled and better able to respond to the needs of children, young people and families across Scotland.
  • Parents with dependent children will have tools and skills to improve their ability to manage relationship difficulties.
  • Parents with dependent children will communicate and negotiate better with each other.
  • Children, young people and families will be better able to cope with their family situation.
  • Parents affected by relationship problems will be more able to cope with their family situation and more able to work together to safeguard their children’s emotional well-being and safety.
  • Children and young people will be better able to cope with the difficulties associated with family relationship problems, separation and divorce.
  • Parents living apart with dependent children will have tools and skills to improve their ability manage their relationship difficulties.
  • Parents living apart with dependent children will communicate better with each other.
  • Children, young people and families will be better able to cope with their family situation.
  • Parents affected by relationship problems will be more able to cope with their family situation and more able to work together to safeguard their children’s emotional well-being and safety.
  • Children and young people will be better able to cope with the difficulties associated with family relationship problems, separation and divorce.
  • Children have improved relationships with their non-residential parent as a result of being able to meet them in a safe and comfortable environment.
  • Non-resident parents and their children are able to maintain an ongoing relationship with each other.
  • Children, young people and families will be better able to cope with their family situation.
  • Parents affected by relationship problems will be more able to cope with their family situation and more able to work together to safeguard their children’s emotional well-being and safety.
  • Children and young people will be better able to cope with the difficulties associated with family relationship problems, separation and divorce.

2021/22–Child Contact Centre Grant: £700,000

Objectives

  • To maintain the national network of child contact centre services across Scotland, recognising that alternative service provision may be necessary given Covid-19.
  • To maintain paid staff levels across the network using alternative service and support methods where necessary due to Covid-19.
  • To support children and families affected by family conflict, separation and divorce who use child contact centre services.
  • To provide child contact centre services to enable a person with whom the child is not, or will not be, living to have contact with the child in a safe environment, recognising that alternative service provision may be necessary given Covid-19.
  • To ensure children across Scotland have access to a child contact centre service using the existing network of member services.
  • To risk assess all current and new clients to identify and act on any concerns over the safety of children and/or their parents.
  • To provide reports when called upon to do so by the courts where the child contact centre can give the required information.

Outcomes

  • To ensure that families referred to child contact centres receive initial contact from the contact centre services within appropriate timescales.
  • To ensure children are supported by contact centre services to maintain contact with the person they are not, or will not be, living with in a safe and supported way, where reasonably practicable.
  • Where the courts ask for a report, to ensure these reports are clear and contain the appropriate level of detail.
  • As a result of using child contact centre services, parents and other family members affected by relationship problems will be supported to enable them to cope with their family situation and work together to safeguard their children’s emotional well-being and safety.

Targets/milestones against which progress in achieving objectives/expected outcomes shall be monitored are:

  • That the existing network of member services across Scotland is maintained.
  • That an initial response is given to families following a referral to the contact centre within 14 days.

The Project
In terms of delivering the Project obligations at times when Covid-19 restrictions apply, member services will endeavour to put alternative measures in place in the absence of face to face contact, or to facilitate face to face contact with the necessary physical distancing and hygiene measures in place, and in line with guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers.

The Grantee will continue to:

  • Maintain the network of member services across Scotland and provide child contact services and support insofar as is reasonably practicable.
  • Maintain paid staff levels across the network insofar as is reasonably practicable, using the alternative service and support methods outlined below where necessary due to Covid-19.
  • To risk assess all current and new clients to identify and act on any concerns over the safety of children and/or their parents and other family members.
  • Where face to face contact is possible, to ensure the necessary physical distancing and hygiene measures are in place and that face coverings and PPE are used as appropriate.
  • Where face to face contact is not possible, to provide contact services and support through alternative methods insofar as is reasonably practicable. This could include the following: 
  1. Telephone, e-mail, Skype and Zoom support for current and new clients.
  2. Video contact via Skype / Zoom.
  3. A 'Letterbox' service to safely share messages, photographs, etc. between children and their non-resident parent.
  4. Telephone 'In-take' meetings for all new client referrals.
  5. Additional support by Family Support Workers through telephone, e-mail, Skype and Zoom for more vulnerable clients.

The grant funding will be distributed by the Grantee to the Member Services of the Relationships Scotland network using the existing system of allocation.

The Grantee shall keep the Scottish Ministers fully informed of the progress of the Project in the form of reports relating to the three month periods ending 30 June, 30 September and 31 December 2021.

3. The information requested from 2012/13 to 2021/22 is provided on the link below. Due to the size of the file, I am unable to attach all the documents with this letter but they can be downloaded from the DropBox link provided above.

A small amount of information has been removed because an exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies because it is personal data of a third party, ie personal names and contact details, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG