What we know
We are all born seeking connections with other people
The need to feel loved and connected is a primary human emotion
We can improve the experience of leaving care
This section shares links to videos, books, quizzes and publications of things we know. There are stories that explain why this work is needed, publications which provide a roadmap to the shifts in policy, practice and culture in Scotland, and resources which support you explore how you’ll become a parent in your workplace. We used many of these resources to set us off on our journey of change, we hope this mix provides you with foundations from which you can continue to develop too.
Why this work is needed
Hillary Cottam asks us to think about the ways we solve deep and complex social problems. How can we build supportive, enthusiastic relationships between people in our welfare state?
The Promise is responsible for driving the work of change demanded by the findings of the Independent Care Review. It works with all kinds of organisations to support shifts in policy, practice and culture so care experienced infants, children, young people, adults and their families grow up loved, safe and respected, able to realise their full potential.
This review explores the growing emphasis being placed on the relationships of children and young people in care. It examines the nature and type of these relationships; what indicators are used to define quality; why relationships are beneficial; what barriers there are to their formation; what initiatives have been designed to support relationships; and what evidence there is about their impact.
Do you think that each person has inherent potential, is valuable, resourceful and can make a meaningful contribution to their wider community? These 3 minute videos describe how we can create conditions in which people grow.
What is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering? Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.
Ideas underpinning what works
Children who develop a secure attachment to a primary caregiver have a number of developmental advantages. Attachment formed with these caregivers continue into adulthood. Parents continue to be both a secure base and a safe haven for adolescents and young adults.
Brené Brown studies human connection – our ability to empathize, belong and love.
In a poignant, funny and viral talk, Brené shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.
Attachment refers the way in which you relate to other people. Your style of attachment was formed at the very beginning of your life. Once established it’s a style that stays with you and plays out today in how you relate to other people. Dr Dan Siegel explains how attachement styles are formed. Perhaps you’ll be able to identify yours?
Parenting in the workplace
Daring Greatly is the culmination of 12 years of groundbreaking social research, across every area of our lives including home, relationships, work, and parenting.
Every parent wants their child to be happy and every parent wants to avoid screwing them up. But how do you achieve that? Instead of mapping out the ‘perfect’ plan, Perry offers a big-picture look at the elements that lead to good parent-child relationships.
In 2015, 24 public bodies and groups of bodies were named as ‘corporate paernts’ with leagal duties and responsibilities to understand the lives of Scotland’s looked after young people and respond to their needs as any parent should. Visit Who Cares? Scotland’s learning hub to find out more.
What can get in the way of working relationally?
British people tend not to bandy about the word ‘love’ at work. But what if you have at least one love language and you feel it at work when people are kind, considerate and caring towards you? Knowing you have two lumps in your tea rather than one? Helping you complete a task to a tight deadline? How does your prefered love language effect how you feel when you engage with other people? Take Dr. Gary Chapman’s online quiz to help you think about this some more.
Socially, mentally, and spiritually, teenagers face a variety of pressures and stresses each day. Despite these pressures, it is still parents and the people who are with them the most who have the opportunity to influence teens.
Relational based practice in Falkirk Council
Closer to Home is the Children’s Services five-year strategy (2019-’24). Approaches in the strategy to which align with this work include shifting the culture of the organisation to one based on strengths, assets and relationship based practice, and providing our workforce with the time and tools to make and sustain trusted relationships with people who access Falkirk Council’s Children’s Services.
Tremanna children’s home in Slamannan, just outside Falkirk, has developed a model of care which enables actions, behaviours and boundaries young people and staff can equally invest in to develop good relationships with one another. Pamela Graham, the Head of Learning and Development at Staf, talks to Pauline about this model of care and how we can support the workforce adapt to this way of working.
Learn more: Pauline.Connelly@falkirk.gov.uk
The vision for the workforce at Falkirk Council is: One Council, One Workforce. A workforce which considers itself to be a single team, focused on delivering high quality services to communities. This Plan shares a framework to ensure this workforce is fit for the future.
Some training initiatives in place to support relational based practice include: good conversation training and family networking techniques.
Learn more: Evelyn.firstname.lastname@example.org
Relational service designs being tested in Falkirk Council
Falkirk Council’s Corporate Parenting Plan now includes the development of a ‘Family Firm’ approach, which enables local authorities and their partners to offer looked after young people and care leavers a broad range of support to help them progress to positive outcomes. This might include work experience, employment and training, or building capacity and skills.
Learn more: Frazer.Stewart@falkirk.gov.uk.
Falkirk Police explore their roles as Corporate Parents
The same police officers have worked with a young woman, responding to any incidents which she is involved in and spent time exercising at a local boxing club. This has been extremely challenging and resulted in the development of consistent relationships which the young woman and her family have benefited from.
Learn more: I.Markey@falkirk.gov.uk.
Other examples of relational service designs
Sun, beaches and relationship-based practice
Through consultation Brighton and Hove City Council Children’s Services developed a whole-systems change model of relationship-based practice. This model has been maintain for the last 3 years with fascinating results.
How can staff develop their approaches to promoting the well-being, learning and growth of the people they work with?
This pilot sought to understand how staff work with people, understanding how attitudes, values and beliefs are put into action, with a particulr emphasis on – amongst other things – valuing relationships.
Families helping families to create better lives. We created a program to address families in crisis by engaging and training families who have been through tough times to help other families going through tough times.
Legislation, policy and guidance
Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) supports families by making sure children and young people can receive the right help, at the right time, from the right people. The aim is to help them to grow up feeling loved, safe and respected so that they can realise their full potential.
The Principles of Good Transitions 3 provides a framework to inform, structure and encourage the continual improvement of support for young people with additional needs between the ages of 14 and 25 who are making the transition to young adult life.
The Covenant supports corporate parents to deliver changes to bring improvement and consistency to the care experienced young people. It offers clear guidance on how to meet their needs.