A new pilot project aimed at providing local authorities with a better understanding of care experienced young people has been launched in Scotland.
The Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection has announced a new partnership with Coram Voice to bring two established surveys of young people’s experience of care to Scotland to be used by local authorities.
The ‘Bright Spots’ programme uses two online surveys ‘Your Life, Your Care’ and ‘Your Life Beyond Care’, which have been developed to provide an opportunity for children and young people to share their experiences of care and how they feel about their lives, based on what they say is important to them.
By listening to the voices of care experienced children and young people, local authorities can inform their service provision and make changes where children and young people say it is needed.
Piloting this approach in Scotland will help local authorities to listen to the voices of their care experienced children and young people in a new way and offer another opportunity to uphold children's rights and Keep The Promise of the Independent Care Review .
Informed by research and developed by Coram Voice, working with Professor Julie Selwyn from the University of Oxford, the surveys provide a measure of wellbeing, quality of care and of the experience of leaving care. Using age-appropriate questionnaires, the surveys are designed to explore, collect and understand the experiences of children from age four up to the age of 25.
Children and young people helped to design the surveys, and children in care and care leavers shared their thoughts with researchers about what was important to them.
CELCIS is calling for local authorities in Scotland to come forward and express their interest in participating in the piloting of this project, starting later this year. Three local authorities will be selected based on the extent to which they are able to meet key criteria and those selected will form a partnership with CELCIS and Coram Voice to support the delivery the surveys and dissemination of the findings and learning.
Following the pilot phase, all local authorities in Scotland will be offered the opportunity to carry out the surveys.
So far in England and Wales, the two online surveys have been used by over 50 local authorities and received almost 15,000 responses.