Reports and publications

Response to Scottish Government’s consultation on improving Temporary Accommodation Standards

15 August 2019

The Scottish Care Leaver’s Covenant supports recommendations to extend the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014. We highlight the rights and needs of care leavers to greater protection from experiencing unsuitable accommodation, and argue for prioritisation of care leaver’s needs when improving temporary accommodation standards in Scotland.

Beyond the Headlines: Care experience and homelessness

June 2019

This Beyond the Headlines briefing by CELCIS, the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection, aims to provide further information and analysis on some commonly reported statistics relating to children and young people in care, care leavers, and care experienced people in Scotland.

The briefing explores the extent to which we understand how homelessness disproportionately affects the lives of care experienced young people, and consider what more can be done to further our understanding of the factors that cause homelessness so this can be addressed.

Bursary for Care Experienced Students: Implementation Issues

CELCIS hosted a roundtable discussion in October 2018 in response to issues around the implementation of the bursary for Care Experienced Students . Representatives from Barnardo’s Scotland, CELCIS, CPAG Scotland, Staf, Who Cares? Scotland, Angus Council, East Ayrshire Council, East Renfrewshire Council, Falkirk Council, Glasgow City Council, and West Dunbartonshire Council took part.

The meeting explored how the bursary is interpreted locally and any subsequent impact on other benefits or entitlements available to care experienced young people. Delegates shared issues, concerns and local practice in how to maximise support to care experienced students heading onto higher or further education.

The bursary was welcomed with its intention to encourage care experienced young people to engage in and sustain further and higher education; to remove barriers; and to enhance the financial support available.

The issue highlighted is not with the bursary but with the way it is interpreted by some local authorities. A concern is that the bursary is being seen to replace rather than enhance the financial support offered to care experienced young people.

Study of independent supported accommodation providers in Scotland

CELCIS has published a qualitative study to examine independent supported accommodation commissioned by local authorities in Scotland.

The study was initiated and undertaken by James Frame with support from CELCIS. James is supporting work within CELCIS in his role as a care experienced consultant, and has a particular interest in improving post-care accommodation and support options for care leavers.

Supporting the implementation of Council Tax exemption for Scotland’s care leavers: Good practice note

Consistent and effective implementation of public policy can be challenging, and this is particularly so in relation to services and provisions for Scotland's care leavers.

In response to feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, CELCIS, in association with the Scottish Care Leavers Covenant Alliance, hosted a roundtable workshop and practice exchange discussion on 5 September 2018 for local authorities in their role as Corporate Parents, in the effective and consistent implementation of the Council Tax (Discounts) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2018 (SSI, 2018 No.39) (the Regulations).

This workshop brought partners together to share positive practice, share solutions to issues experienced, identify actions to ensure full and consistent implementation of the Regulations, and to uphold the rights of eligible care leavers. Attendees included delegates from 13 local authorities, representatives from the Scottish Government, members of the Scottish Care Leavers Covenant Alliance, and care experienced young people.

This practice note is drawn from the discussion and outlines key considerations and a range of measures for local authorities to take as Corporate Parents to ensure consistent and effective implementation of the regulations, now established in law.

Inform briefing on care leavers and council tax exemptions

Published: 24 July 2018

This briefing updates on changes in legislation which now exempts young care leavers in Scotland from council tax.

The issue of financial hardship and the impact of poverty on care leavers is well documented. Care leavers are a particularly vulnerable group when it comes to financial hardship. Leaving home at a much earlier age that the general population, care leavers are much more likely to encounter the effects of debt and poverty, lacking the safety net of the 'bank of mum & dad' which others may take for granted.

Scottish Care Leavers Covenant Alliance: Response to Scottish Government’s Consultation on Protection of Vulnerable Groups and the Disclosure of Criminal Information

Published: 18 July 2018
In this response we highlight our belief that the current situation is not acceptable for care experienced young people. Accruing ‘convictions’ in childhood for behaviour that may be rooted in trauma, can have a life-long impact and it is essential to avoid inappropriate and disproportionate adult responses. The psychological and emotional impact of the disclosure process can serve to have a re-traumatising and stigmatising effect. This can act as a barrier to care experienced people applying for work in the first place and impede their ability to ‘move on’. 

Local Government and Communities Committee
Report on Homelessness, 6th Report, 2018 (Session 5)

Published: March 2018
SCLC contributed to the consultation on Homelessness highlighting the issues faced by care experienced young people. We are pleased to see the recommendation to extend the Unsuitable Accommodation Order to include care experienced young people in this report from the Scottish Parliament.

Analysis of Consultation on The Continuing Care (Scotland) Amendment Order 2018

Published March 2018
Findings from a Scottish Government consultation on the extension of the higher age limit for eligibility for continuing care from 19 to 20 years of age from 1 April 2018. No adjustments have been requested or made to the draft order which will enable young people who turn sixteen, but have not yet reached the age of twenty while in residential, foster or kinship care, to remain in their current care setting (‘continuing care’) after they cease to be formally looked after by the local authority.

Care experience and protected characteristics

Published: March 2018
Who Cares? Scotland and the Equality and Human Rights Commission have produced a teport to consider the different ways to make care experience a protected charactersitic and the steps corporate parents can take now, without any change in law. It supports two of the SCLC guiding  principles of Assumption of Entitlement and care Proofing of Policy and may be a useful resource for corporate parents

Key messages from the first SCLC conference

Published: February 2018
The Scottish Care Leavers Covenant Alliance has published a report detailing the key messages from its Walking the Walk Conference - the first national conference following the launch of the Scottish Care Leavers Covenant in 2015.

The purpose of the Conference, was to reflect on and evidence progress by Corporate Parents who have endorsed the Covenant. It focused on implementing policy, interpreting research evidence, the role of national and local leadership, and examples of innovative practice from across Scotland.

Key messages included:
•    the importance of relationship-based practice
•    the need for structured implementation of policy
•    how research can inform practice

It was a day of big ideas as well as scrutinising what still has to be done to fulfil Scotland’s aspirations.

Claiming after care - Care leavers and the benefits system

Published: August 2017
This report by The Children's Society builds on previous work and provides evidence of the financial difficulties faced by care leavers in England. The report contains case studies and lists recommedations for the Department of Work and Pensions, JobCentre Plus and local authorities.

Care leavers and council tax

Published: June 2018
Read about the impact of the council tax on care leavers and the financial hardship they face.

From Care to Independence                        

Published: May 2017
From Care to Independence is a five-year research project funded by the Big Lottery Fund, and delivered by The Prince’s Trust. As part of From Care to Independence, the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) conducted research with young people and Programme Executives of the Fairbridge programme, delivered by The Prince’s Trust Between 2012 and 2017. This research is based on England.

Rights to care

Published: May 2017
A guide to continuing care and aftercare for care experienced young people.

Rights to care flowchart

Published: May 2017
A guide to working your way through the continuing care and aftercare maze and know your rights.

Care Leavers and Council Tax Exemption

Published: April 2017
A CELCIS and Scottish Care Leavers Covenant summary of council tax exemption for care leavers and the differences between English and Scottish council tax powers.

Making Connections: Supporting the identification of care leavers in the justice system

Published: March 2017
A summary paper from the Making Connections workshop which supported the implementation of the agenda for change under the Youth and Criminal Justice section of the Covenant.

Covenant newsletter - Winter 2016

Published: December 2016
Want to know what the Alliance have been doing since the launch? Or, find out what we have planned.

Identification of looked after young people and care leavers by justice agencies

Published: September 2016
This briefing by the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice advises on who is a looked after person/carer leaver, how and why it’s important to identity them, and how they can be supported.

Agenda for Change template

Published: August 2016
This accessible resource for Corporate Parents and other organisations providing support services to care leavers supports the preparation of Corporate Parenting Plans and service delivery plans. The framework can be incorporated and integrated fully into local plans, or can be adapted to meet local circumstances and specific outcomes.

Relationships matter project

Published: April 2016
This two-year project was facilitated by Iriss and led by the Relationships Matter Collective, a group of inspirational practitioners and young people who were brave enough to challenge, and confident enough to promote, continued relationships between practitioners and young people as they leave care.

Scottish Care Leavers Covenant

Published: October 2015
The Scottish Care Leavers Covenant outlines the changes needed to give care leavers the bright and better future they deserve. It outlines the cross-sector approach to support

Scottish Care Leavers Covenant summary

Published: October 2015
An eight-page condensed version of the full Covenant document.

Residential Child Care Workers: Practice Learning Exchange

Published: October 2015
Residential child care staff from Shetland and Falkirk Councils spent time at each other's workplace in a learning exchange project, supported by CELCIS. Empowering, developing and nurturing residential child care staff this way helped staff to take ownership and responsibility in developing themselves and their services.

At relatively low-cost to the sector, this approach shared learning and residential child care staff were supported through professional networks, based on a mutual learning experience.

You can read about the challenges, learning and benefits in this evaluation of the project.

Sharing Practice to Improve Outcomes for Care Leavers

Published: July 2014
Evaluation report for the inter-authority learning exchange between Shetland Islands, Falkirk and Glasgow Councils throughcare and aftercare teams in 2014.

The report describes the planning process, in-situ experience, and post-exchange learning of participants, it also report highlights the positive learning outcomes and benefits and identifies ideas for future applications of this learning and practice exchange model to improve practice for looked after young people and care leavers.

Throughcare and Aftercare Services in Scotland’s Local Authorities: A National Study

Published: March 2014
This joint research by CELCIS and Staf establishes a picture of current throughcare and aftercare (TCAC) provision across Scotland’s local authorities and provides evidence that will inform ongoing debates about future directions and priorities for TCAC. It provides an evidence base to ensure all care leavers receive the support they need to make a successful and positive transition into adult life.

Inform: Housing Options and Care Leavers

Published: July 2015
A CELCIS Inform briefing providing an overview of information, policy and legislation and outlining the housing and accommodation options that will improve outcomes for care leavers.

Inform: Children and Young People Act (Part 10 and Part 11)

Published: May 2014

A CELCIS briefing explaining specific parts of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. This briefing examines the changes introduced to ‘Aftercare’ services. These changes are the most substantive reforms of the looked after children’s sector in many years, increasing the population eligible for ‘Aftercare’ support and introducing an obligation on local authorities to secure some care leavers in their looked after placement, up to their 21st birthday.