Subject: Staf's February e-News

Dear Friend,

How has 2019 been for you so far? At Staf we’ve been busy with the priorities set out last month.

Already this year we’ve held two Focus Groups –Implications of Continuing Care and Care Leavers
into Employment. These are already determining our response to some of the biggest issues. In this newsletter you’ll find out what the outcomes of our latest Continuing Care Focus Group were.

In the month ahead we’ll also hold our first Local Authority Members’ Forum. This will now be preceded by a roundtable with the Care Inspectorate. This is a great opportunity to hear more about, and influence, new inspections they are developing so make sure you sign-up today.

New projects are also well underway on relationships and the participation of young people with experience of the justice system. This month you can read more about our new project to support relationship-based practice which will be led by our new team member Papoula.

We’ve also collated some fantastic examples of the power of pets to improve the lives of care-experienced young people – this has had such a warm response online already and is well worth a read.

Finally, don’t forget to secure your seat at our full-day conference with Dr Karen Treisman on 8 May – spaces are filling up fast so make sure you don’t miss out.

Until next time,


Norma Corlette
Staf CEO
"I consider social workers to be lighthouses in the sea of chaos." 
- Louise Wallein MBE
Watch our interview with poet and playwright Louise Wallwein MBE, where she gives advice to social workers and her seventeen-year-old self.

The Importance of Relationships with our Pets
We all know how important relationships are in our own lives, and the difference they can make in the life of a care-experienced young person. But what about the relationships with the animals in our lives? This blog highlights the difference pets can make to the lives of care-experienced young people and the benefits of introducing them to services. Read the blog here.
How our new project will support our members to prioritise relationships
Staf us embarking on a new project to support the development of relationship-based practice. In this blog we give you a quick outline of the project. Find out more here.
Our response to the Scottish Government's Social Isolation and Loneliness Strategy
In this blog we take a look at the Scottish Government's Social Isolation and Loneliness Strategy, examining what we called for, what we like and what's still missing in the report for care-experienced young people. Read the blog here.
Four key outcomes from our latest Implications of Continuing Care
Our Implications of Continuing Care focus group meets quarterly to discuss Continuing Care provision in Scotland. We gathered in January to examine what good practice looks like. Read our blog here.
You may be aware that the Care Inspectorate are rolling out new inspections based on the new Health and Social Care Standards, with work on care homes and residential schools for children now underway.

This roundtable is an opportunity to get an update on the process from a senior representative of the Care Inspectorate, which will include:
  • Background into the new Health and Social Care Standards
  • Approximate timescales and milestones for the roll-out of new inspections
  • How the new type of inspections will be different
Email us at to secure your place!
This event has been created exclusively for local authority managers to give you space to discuss the issues that matter to you, given your unique statutory role supporting care leavers.

Issues that will be discussed will include: Continuing Care, the SAAS Care Experienced Bursary and out-of-local authority placements.

Through our participation in the Care Review we have been asked to gather your views on the definition of ‘love’ that is under development. Love has become central to the work of the Care Review – it’s vital that your voice is heard in this process.

As always there will be plenty of time to catch up with colleagues, spending time together networking and sharing practice. Lunch will also be provided.

A Day with Dr. Karen Treisman:
supporting the workforce to become trauma-informed and trauma-responsive

Wednesday 8th May 2019 | 9.30am - 4pm, Glasgow
Following on from her fantastic presentation at our National Conference, we are delighted that Clinical Psychologist Dr Karen Treisman will now lead this special day-long event to give you the tools you need to support a trauma-informed organisational culture.

Dr Treisman has worked in children’s services for many years and is a specialist in supporting systems to move towards being, and to sustain, trauma-informed and trauma-responsive practice.

At this exciting event, Dr Treisman will take us through the four Rs of a trauma-informed system, where we realise the impact of trauma; recognise the signs of trauma; resist re-traumatisation; and respond by fully infusing trauma knowledge into everything they do.
Save the date - we're bringing Dr Bruce Perry to Scotland!
In partnership with other organisations, we are hosting an International Child Trauma Conference - More than My Trauma - in 2020, featuring world-renowned trauma expert Dr Bruce Perry. Our partners for the event are Kibble, Children in Scotland, Clackmannanshire Educational Psychology Service, Aberlour and Seamab.

Be the first to get the details as they're announced - sign up to the mailing list today.
Our longest standing focus group is the Supported Lodgings and Supported Carers group. This group brings together those who run schemes across Scotland to share practice, ideas and importantly to feel a sense of community with each other.

Mike Rodden, our very first honorary member has facilitated this group since 2015 and led its work. Mike has been a strong advocate for supported lodgings and carers, which offer the best form of transition to interdependence for many care experienced young people. Mike stood down in his capacity as group facilitator at the last meeting as he looks to further enjoy his retirement.

We are looking for another volunteer to take on the role of co-ordinating this group. This involves chairing the quarterly meeting, taking notes and distributing them to the group. Please get in touch with for further information about this opportunity.

Meeting since 2014, the Implications of Continuing Care focus group offers a safe place to discuss issues and practice arising from Part 11 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

At this meeting we will continue to share practice and discuss issues surrounding Continuing Care and its Implementation.

This meeting will have a specific focus on issues surrounding residential care. We will also be joined by colleagues from The Care Review.
Our Care Leavers into Employment focus group tackles the issues faced by young people in both accessing and sustaining employment.

At our last meeting we discussed our organisational response to the Scottish Government's Job Grant Consultation. If you would like to contribute to this response or have any questions, please email by 5pm on 28th February 2019.

At our next meeting we will share case studies on the work being carried out across the country to support care leavers into employment. We will also refine our focus to enable the group to influence local and national policy.
If you only have time to read, listen or watch one thing this week, make sure it's one of the below.

Read: Third Force News reacts to the government's U-turn on the two-child cap for Universal Credit, arguing that the policy should be scrapped completely because of its impact on large families struggling with poverty.
Listen: The BBC World Service Health Check programme with presenter Claudia Hammond, discusses loneliness with bloggers Michelle Lloyd and Megan Paul, and the academics Dr Tim Matthews and Professor Louise Arsenault. They discuss the link between discrimination, stigma and loneliness - a topic particularly relevant to care-experienced young people who experience stigma as a result of being in care.

Watch: Care-experienced journalist Ashley John-Baptist talks to the One Show about love in the modern care environment, talking to care-experienced young people who feel that their residential home is "like a family". Watch from 02:50-13:00 minutes.
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