People displaced from Ukraine - interviews: summary report

Key themes and observations from in-depth interviews with people displaced from Ukraine living in Scotland and their hosts.

This document is part of a collection

1. Context and Methods


The Scottish Government, in partnership with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), is delivering the Warm Scots Welcome (WSW) programme to support people displaced from Ukraine (or "guests")[1] arriving in Scotland under the UK 'Homes for Ukraine' sponsorship visa.

This summary report brings together key themes and observations from initial thematic analysis of in-depth interviews carried out by Scottish Government analysts with guests in Scotland and people hosting them ("hosts"),[2] during late 2022 and early 2023. The interviews aimed to explore the experience so far for guests and hosts in Scotland, to improve understanding of host and guest needs, and to identify opportunities to improve the programme.

Seventeen interviews were conducted with guests, and 20 with people hosting guests. In addition, throughout this report we supplement the Scottish Government interview themes with findings from recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) surveys with hosts and guests.[3] While not directly comparable, due to differences in sample and method, overall findings from the interviews broadly align with findings from these surveys, with the interviews allowing for a more in depth focus on experiences in Scotland.

More detailed summaries of the themes identified in the interviews are available on the Scottish Government website in the form of a separate slide-deck style report for each of the host and guest interviews.

Methods and key limitations

Semi-structured interviews were conducted online and lasted up to 90 minutes. They were conducted by a lead researcher and a secondary note taker. An interpreter was also in attendance for interviews with people displaced from Ukraine, if required.

Interviews with people hosting guests in Scotland were conducted between late August and early September 2022. Interviews with people displaced from Ukraine in Scotland were conducted between November 2022 and early February 2023.

The interviews sought to explore a diversity of experiences. The achieved sample for the host interviews included participants at different stages of the host journey, offering accommodation in their own home or another property. Some hosts sponsored their guests directly, finding their guests either via a charity or through more informal routes such as social media or social networks. A smaller number of hosts had taken on guests that had been sponsored to apply for a visa through the Scottish super sponsor scheme – whereby the Scottish Government acts as the sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine visa pathway. These hosts were matched with guests who had already arrived in Scotland via the Scottish super sponsor route.

The achieved sample for the guest interviews included participants: travelling alone or with family; using different visa pathways; residing in hosted, welcome and settled accommodation; and located in different parts of Scotland. Not all Local Authorities in Scotland were represented in the research. A more detailed breakdown of participant characteristics is included in the separate host and guest slide deck reports.

Interviews with guests did not directly explore participant's experience of trauma, nor the impact of this, including on their ability to settle into life in Scotland. While a small number of interviewees volunteered relevant experiences, the interviews offer limited insight into this.

Semi-structured topic guides for the interviews are appended to this report in Annexes A (host interviews) and B (guest interviews). The focus of interviews varied and was participant-led. The qualitative nature of the research means findings are not intended to be representative or to characterise a typical experience of being a host or guest in Scotland, but instead highlight important issues for the participants involved and provide insight into how and why a person might experience a particular phenomenon in the hosting or settling process. This approach has furthered our understanding of hosts' and guests' experiences, highlighting opportunities for programme improvement.



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