What we're learning

'Sucess is not final, failure is not fatal: it's the courage to continue that counts' Winston Churchill

During this project everybody is learning.

We are all experts in something but started by not even knowing one another! 

We joined this project in April 2019 without knowing exactly what we’d do as these decisions depend on what we’d learn and the decisions our research findings helped us make. This video on the art of not knowing, and why it matters helpfully shares what this experience can feel like.

The blog posts on this page share the process we’ve worked through together. Some offer insights into our working practices and how we got to know one another. Others share our research findings and insights. Some offer personal reflections and others present an evaluators view on what we’ve learnt from taking part in this work, the challenges as well as the successes.

Wee tip! Start from the bottom and work your way up.

So the mug has been hugged...

Our resident poet has written a final farewell poem to support us close this work. Thank you David. And a heart felt thanks to everyone involved in the journey…….so far!

Falkirk Council logo

Final Project Evaluation

We are pleased to present the final project evaluation for Relationships First Project.

What does the Corporate Management Team at Falkirk Council think of our service designs?

We had a really interesting discussion about the feasibility of our service designs in practice…

Falkirk Council logo

Sharing our work with the Children’s Commission Leadership Group

We met with the CCLG to share each of the service design concepts and learn what actions they’ll take from this work.

What do the Champions Participation Group think of our service designs?

Read about their views and the ideas they shared which make our work more inclusive


Falkirk Champs logo

Working and Partying online

We restarted the project in September (2020) and moved to work online. You can follow what each group did in the co-desing section of the site. Here’s us at our Christmas Party!

How many ways can you squash a lemon?

…the point I’m trying to make is to show that being part of this project has been a voyage of discovery on so many levels…


Relationships First

In this, the third of David’s poems, he shares with us how he feels about this project, how he is challenging himself, and his hopes for the affect of this work.

It's a Mission Not a Job

This is the second of David’s poems which shares reflections about his role at work.


Too Young for This

David works in a residential home for young people who are in and leaving care. He has a talent for reflecting about his work through poetry. This poem is written from the perspective of a ten-year-old boy.

Relationship First Revelations

I have never been involved in any project using the service design process so this project would be a brand-new experience for me… I was excited about taking part, mostly because the project was to bring both workers and care experienced young people together… what I didn’t anticipate was the effect this project would have on me…


Keeping in Contact via Zoom

Like everyone else our working lives have changed due to COVID-19. The project has been paused for the time being and we’re keeping in contact via bi-weekly games nights. Thanks to Janet – our fantastic games host – we’ve won and lost at quizzes (there are certainly people with fastest fingers first in the group!), played ‘Guess Who’ with the answers relating to each other, tried our hand at drawing playing Pictionary, and discussed movies as well as a bit of current affairs!



Presenting at the Staf Summit about 'Why Relationships are Key’

Evelyn, Leah and Janet were invited to present our work to-date at the ‘Staf Summit – Leading whole-system change to improve lives: Why Relationships are Key’, on Wednesday 11th March 2020 in central Glasgow to 150 delegates.


MARCH 2020

Co-Design Crews' Research Findings

Want to see what the Citizens and Public Servants experience research tells us?


Christmas Party

To round off the year and celebrate our new friendships and hard work we had a Christmas party at a restaurant in Falkirk. There were surprise gifts given to everyone by ‘the big adults’ and we had some special guests in attendance. Thanks for celebrating with us Sara Lacey, Chief Social Work Officer, Falkirk Council, and Thomas Timlin from the Independent Care Review.



Learning Review

C-R Stocks-Rankin conducted an independent review of Citizen’s and Public Servants learning from their training and research sessions. Read about the changes people experienced and what their experiences’ tell us about this kind of project.

Want to know what we think love and relationships look like in practice?

The Co-Design Crew learnt how to make videos and used this opportunity to communicate the findings from their research. You’re going to want to check them out…!

The experience's we want more of

We talk about love and relationships a lot in this project, but what do we actually mean by this? Well each person has different answers, all relationships are different, and it kind of depends on what you want to experience when you’re together anyways! Despite all of this were able to identify a range of things people may say or do, see and feel when in a loving relationship with a Corporate Parent. Once we’ve developed our service designs we’re going to think about which of these ways of being are potentially better enabled.

Becoming the Co-Design Crew

When two become one. How the teams brought their research finings together and decided what issues they wanted to respond to.

Everyone Meets!

We spent a couple of evenings together having dinner, fiercely competing at a games night, and going bowling. You can’t guess who got the wooden spoon from this pic? Can you? I can’t!


Public Servants Research Insights

During the research process Public Servants noticed they were using a range of perspectives when talking about Corporate Parents. They synthesised their interpretations and used their data to create portraits that illustrate different ways people are currently being Corporate Parents in Falkirk Council.

Citizens Research Insights

Learn about seven care leaver’s experience’s and key insights into what they said to people, and what they thought, at key moments in their lives.

Public Servants - Training and Research

Getting ready to work with the Citizens and better understanding the experiences of a range of Corporate Parents at Falkirk Council who directly and indirectly support young people leave care?

Citizens - Training and Research

Getting ready to work with the Public Servants and conducting research into the most important relationships they experienced as they left care.