Evidence in action
Citizens Advice Scotland and CHILDREN 1ST
CHILDREN 1ST and Citizens Advice Scotland support kinship carers through a range of services offered at both local and national levels. About Families worked with these organisations to plan the development of an information resource which aimed to increase awareness and understanding of how different local authority departments can support kinship carers, in relation to About Families’ existing ‘Parenting teenagers’ and ‘Together and Apart’ research themes.
The information resource was based around a number of case studies, developed in partnership with kinship care peer support groups. These case studies offer examples of how different departments in local authorities are supporting kinship carers as well as highlight gaps in current services.
Mentor UK provides support to kinship carers through the Mentor UK kinship care guide and through support directly with families in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Mentor UK sought to develop the confidence and capacity of Mentor UK volunteers.
About Families worked with Mentor UK staff and volunteers followed by two focus group discussions with volunteers to find out more about how the evidence findings relate to kinship families and how those families might learn from the experiences of other kinship carers. A resource was produced which Mentor UK volunteers can use when supporting kinship carers.
“These reports have been an excellent resource which has helped the family support workers and volunteers to think in more detail about the issues that parents/carers face…The findings have enabled the family support workers and carers to start putting together training programmes for carers individually and through group work.
This work will reinforce Mentor’s practice in ensuring that we continue to observe research and the thoughts, opinions and experiences of the people we work with to help shape the resources that we use in our daily work…and endeavour to use meetings rather than surveys, questionnaires to source information.”
(Heather McVeigh, Scotland Manager, Mentor UK)