Citizen Team Training and Research

The Citizen Team

The Citizen Team came together in April 2019 and worked together most Tuesday evenings and 3 weekend days till August 2019. This totalled approximately 65 hours of work, for which each person was paid.


We created a bespoke training programme so the Citizen Team could get to know one another and get ready to work with the Public Servant Team.

Topics we covered included:

1. Learning about the project,
2. Thinking about different personality types,
3. Talking about different kinds of participation,
4. Learning about corporate parenting,
5. Discussing conflict and ways it can be resolved,
6. Sharing ideas about systems leadership and social change,
7. Reflecting on how people change,
8. Discussing what they think love means in a corporate parenting relationship.

Getting to know one another

Some people knew one another and others did not. Some people had engaged in participatory projects before and others hadn’t. And some knew about corporate parenting and had shared their experiences of leaving care in a group setting, and for others it was their first time.

Learning about the project
Discussing conflict and how it can be resolved
Thinking about what love can mean to different people


The Citizen’s designed and conducted interviews to understand what each person’s experience of most important relationship to them as they left care.

They came together over one weekend in August. People spoke for between 20 – 30 minutes with lots of breaks and time for chatting and games. At the end of each interview people offered feedback on what they heard and the conversation became very peer lead and supportive. Each interview closed by members of the group writing notes they shared with one another about what they appreciated about the interviewee and what they had shared.

At the end of each session we also discussed what we’d learnt, what similarities and differences there were between that people had shared, they range of feelings and behaviours people may express in these relationships and how this work related to the project vision.

Each interview was audio recorded and graphical notes were taken.

Group interviews
Group designed coping strategy when conversations felt difficult
Sharing feedback
Sarah Ahmed graphically recorded what each young person shared
At the end of the sessions we discussed the similarities and differences between what each person shared
One of the similarities was the emotional barriers care leavers and members of the workforce can experience, which for some, made developing and maintaining relationships difficult
Conversation about what the vision could be for this project


The Citizens reviewed the transcripts of their interviews and co-created a list of barriers and enablers to the continuation of important relationships. They then asked the Participation Lead to identify the four enablers and barriers that came up the most often.

To share their experiences and research findings with the Public Servant Team the Citizens designed a presentation session. Part of the presentation involved them sharing snap-shots of themselves in time with quotes and insights from their transcripts to explain what they were thinking and feeling in relation to other people as they left care.

Citizen’s analyse their transcripts
Some of the barriers they identifed in their transcripts
Some things they identifed in their transcripts which enabled relationships

At the end of each session we had reflection time so people could think about what they were learning. Each Citizen documented this so it would go towards a Youth Achievement Award. We also asked for feedback about each session to learn what was working for people and adapt things that could be improved.

This stage of the work closed by each Citizen choosing how they would like to share their experience of the training and research with independent researcher Dr Catherine-Rose Stock-Rankin. More information about their views can be found in the project Learning Review.