The ‘Communities That Care’ project team work with Care Experienced children and young people to support them in becoming ‘care conscious’ – a position where they recognise and own their identity and can become advocates for themselves and others with Care Experience. The project creates the conditions for positive learning opportunities for corporate parents and people in communities, designed to increase understanding and awareness of the experience of care across 20% of the general population. This is designed to create a ‘tipping point’ whereby an environment becomes ‘care conscious’ and results in Care Experienced children, young people and adults no longer facing the discrimination and misrecognition which leads to this group having some of the worst health and educational outcomes in Scotland.
- Secured agreement to embed their model in a further six primary schools and the one Additional Support Needs school within the St. Andrew’s Academy cluster
- Training delivered to all teaching and support staff (15 participants), with inputs delivered to all P6 and P7 pupils (55 pupils) in St John Ogilvie Primary School
- PSE sessions were delivered to all S1s in St Andrew’s Academy, Castlehead High, Paisley Grammar and Gleniffer High in the first half of the academic year
- Recruited and trained an additional 3 Community Schools Volunteers, meaning there are now 8 available to the project
- Secured a seat on a working group at West College Scotland which aims to improve outcomes by creating a ‘Prepare for College’ course that should ensure Care Experienced people are better ready and prepared before deciding to become students.
Who Cares? Scotland has a powerful and inspiring approach to their campaign work, putting those with Care Experience and their stories at the heart of their message. They focus on extrapolating the learning gained through Communities That Care to increase care conscious practice across both policy and practice, maximising their strong political relationships at national and local levels. Who Cares? Scotland is committed to making the case for macro policy and practice changes so that a caring culture can grow to dominate Scotland.
Communities That Care work with young people through a model which seeks to ‘engage, mobilise and empower’ them, they are supported to understand and own their identity, if they wish and to use this in a positive way to educate themselves, their communities and decision makers around them. Renfrewshire will be left with a wealth of ‘care conscious’ individuals who can champion the needs of this group beyond the period of this award. The project team believe that by ‘care proofing’ the local authority of Renfrewshire, they empower local communities and the Care Experienced population to create a safe and welcoming environment which could be replicated across Scotland.
The project will support the community within Renfrewshire to develop lasting relationships that can be sustained beyond the initial STV Appeal funding period. Key to this has been the posts of Project Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator, who will ensure that Who Cares? Scotland can continue to recruit, train, and support key community anchors who are able to work with young people and utilise local resources. This sustains the project’s ability to create opportunities for Care Experienced young people and the wider community to access and learn from. In addition, Renfrewshire Council has shown interest in match funding the project beyond 2020 when funding from the Appeal ends.