5 Who cares? Scotland
5.1 In general, most of the qualitative respondents viewed Who Cares? Scotland positively, in terms of the content of their training and in the way it is delivered. There were comments from some respondents that Who Cares? Scotland is easy to approach, flexible and helpful. Indeed, one respondent noted that another training session is currently being planned for EMs. They are working in conjunction with the organisation to produce a condensed training session for EMs. In other local authorities, training has been delivered to EMs as an additional element on the agenda of its regular Council meeting.
5.2 Respondents rated the Who Cares? Scotland presenters highly, and were particularly positive about the inclusion of a care leaver as a presenter at the training.
5.3 Qualitative respondents noted a number of advantages in relation to Who Cares? Scotland delivering this training on corporate parenting. First and foremost, they bring a national perspective to the training that is not available within their local authority. While a key focus for respondents is the provision of local data, they also welcome national data and the provision of a national overview of corporate parenting. One respondent commented that not only do Who Cares? Scotland provide a national perspective but also the local view as they have contact with a range of different services and local service users which gives them a good knowledge of local issues in relation to looked after children.
5.4 Because Who Cares? Scotland has access to local authorities in Scotland, they are perceived to be in an ideal position to provide details of good practice, case studies and exemplars from other areas, and discuss ways in which this could be applied or modified in other authorities. Indeed, there were requests from some respondents for more coverage of good practice in other areas.
5.5 Who Cares? Scotland is also perceived to be in an ideal situation to introduce a young person to deliver some of the training session to provide their personal perspective as a looked after child. It was well received when the views of a looked after child from the local authority in which the training is being delivered were also included. Another advantage for the organisation is that they are independent and are perceived to deliver an unbiased training session.
5.6 Furthermore, because their role is to support looked after children, they are perceived to be an expert in the area of corporate parenting and the issues facing this group today. One respondent commented,
"I certainly have got a lot out of what they offer and certainly some people [here] have thought it was fantastic. We've had a very unbelievably positive response from people here and if we were to do it again, I think there would be more people who would come along."
5.7 Who Cares? Scotland have also provided publicity materials such as posters to some respondents to help increase awareness among others who have not attended a training session.
5.8 Anecdotal feedback suggests that the organisation also gets involved in additional work with local authorities as a follow on from the initial training. For example, a recent training session in Edinburgh has resulted in a request for help in developing a wallet card that explains Corporate Parenting for distribution to all council employees.
5.9 Who Cares? Scotland may also be undertaking other work in an authority such as offering advocacy services to children and young people. In one area, they facilitate a Young Person in Care Council which contributes to work being undertaken by the authority. As a council official noted, "they have contributed to the Plan by giving a young person's voice to it". So, their overall experience of working with young people is seen to be of benefit.
5.10 In Glasgow, the overall impact of the training was described:
"I dare say there were people before these courses who really wouldn't have known what a corporate parent was. So if you get to the point that we understand that we have responsibilities, once you get to that point and people have got that in the back of their heads, it doesn't matter if they have a day-to-day role or not, you've got that in the back of your head when you're going about your business."
In summary, most of the qualitative respondents viewed Who Cares? Scotland positively, in terms of the content of their training, the way it is delivered and the speakers.
Respondents identified a number of key advantages to Who Cares? Scotland in their delivery of the training programme and these included:
- Offering flexibility in their delivery of the training programme.
- Offering a national perspective and providing both local and national data.
- In a good position to provide details of good practice, case studies and exemplars; and to discuss how these could be applied or modified in other areas.
- Ability to tap into established networks with looked after children and care leavers to include their views in training.
- Perceived to be unbiased and independent; and an expert in corporate parenting and the issues facing looked after children today.
- Providing additional publicity / training materials.
- Getting involved in further post-training work.
- Their broader experience in their work with children and young people and the advantages this can bring to the perspective of corporate parenting.
Email: Alison Melville
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