Subject: Staf August e-News

Your monthly news from Staf, Scotland's national membership organisation for all of those involved in the lives of young people in and leaving care.
Welcome to the new look Staf e-News! 

This month we want your views on our virtual learning event plans, including our first-ever virtual conference on 17th November 2020. 

Staf's first webinar of 2020 will take place on Wednesday 9th September, where we will focus on s
ervice delivery and relationship-based practice.

Find out more and book your place here.

I’m also excited to say our Shannon’s Box project is a finalist for ‘Pioneering Project’ at The Scottish Charity Awards! We’re so proud of Shannon, a care-experienced young woman who came up with the idea of a box of items to make entering care a little easier, and are delighted to have supported her, alongside East Ayrshire HSCP, to make the box a reality. 

I want to say a massive welcome to Staf’s newest members – CrossReach. If you’re interested in joining our network, you can join Staf today on our website or reply to this email for more information. 

Finally, don’t forget to check out the fantastic work of our participation projects, including a blog on supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young people; the story of Youth Just Us; and the latest on our care-experienced choir

Until next time, 

Jo Derrick
Staf CEO
Staf Projects
Project Return
'Our Choir' - Scotland's Choir for the Care Community, run by Project Return, is making a virtual return. Find out more about how you can get involved and sign up here - you will need to register by Friday 28th August. The choir is open to all care and/or justice experienced people aged 16+ as well as their workers and Corporate Parents. 

'The Catalysts', Project Return's care experienced steering group, developed a Pets in Care survey so they can undertake national research into the care community’s experience of pets in their homes. You can complete the survey here - the deadline for submissions is Sunday 23rd August.

The Seeds for Change indoor plant starter kits are now almost gone! Only 5 remain - make sure to order yours now if you don't want to miss out. Project Return also held the second of their Seeds for Change Forestry Club sessions, in partnership with Scottish Forestry, this month. Keep an eye on the Project Return page on the Staf website for future session announcements!

Youth Justice Voices
The second edition of the Youth Justice Voices newsletter, written by and for care and justice experienced young people, was issued this month. In this edition, we take a look at how young people are coping during COVID, share poetry and reflections from group members, and look at how Youth Just Us got involved in shaping a new virtual reality game!

Youth Just Us provides opportunities to meet other care and justice experienced young people, take part in a range of fun and creative activities, and influence change across Scotland. The group is open to all young people aged 16-25 with care and justice experience. If you are interested in getting involved then contact - we can arrange an initial 1-2-1 informal Zoom session so you can find out more about the group. You can read more about the history of Youth Just Us, and how they have influenced change in the last year here

Building Relationships
The building relationships advisory group have been meeting regularly and are 
creating a comprehensive tool that will support organisations to prioritise relationship-based practice. This resource will be a place for information and inspiration for any person and organisation on that journey towards relationship-based practice. Keep an eye on the Building Relationships page on the Staf website for future developments!

Including topics around race, ethnicity and culture in nationwide resources is a first step to empower people to speak up, learn and influence change - and this month, Papoula has blogged on the experience of care for children and young people who are Black, Asian or part of other ethnic minorities. Read more about how essential an actively anti-racist children's care sector is here

Staf Policy and Practice
Informing Choices, Funding Futures, Supporting Success
SAAS (Student Awards Agency Scotland) are one our most recent members. You can read a blog from their CEO David Robb on how they’ve shown #WeLove during the pandemic, reflecting on the work they have undertaken to support care experienced students.

Call for Evidence on Youth Employment: Staf's Response
Staf submitted evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee's ongoing inquiry on the impact of COVID-19 on Scotland's economy. Our response focuses on the steps we can take now to tackle youth unemployment amongst care leavers. 

Job Start Payment
This week, applications opened for the Job Start Payment - a new benefit provided by The Scottish Government to help young people with the costs of entering new employment. Staf played a role in influencing the criteria of this benefit. You can find out more about how to apply here.

Staf Events 
Staf runs a range of events including focus groups, forums and conferences for you to connect and learn with colleagues and peers. Make sure to complete our Event Survey to have your say and shape our future events. Find out more about our upcoming events below.

Webinar: Service delivery and relationship-based practice
Wednesday 9th September, 10.00am - 12.00pm (Adobe Connect)
Following on from our successful Staf Summit in March 2020 Staf is hosting a new series of webinars focussing on how relationships can be placed at the heart of practice and the difference that this can make for the young people in our care.

In the first of this series we will be hearing from Dr Gillian Ruch, Professor of Social Work at The University of Sussex. This recorded keynote address from our March 2020 event will be followed by a facilitated discussion on relationship-based practice.

Tickets are £25.00 per person for Staf members, £35.00 for non-members, and £15.00 for students.

Participation Practitioners' Forum
Thursday 20th August, 11.00am - 12.30pm (Zoom)
The participation practitioners' forum is a free monthly event for participation workers supporting young people with care and justice experience to connect with, and learn from, each other: sharing successes, reflecting on challenges, and championing examples of best practice in an informal setting.

Supported Lodgings, Supported Carers Focus Group
Tuesday 25th August, 10.00am - 11.30am (Microsoft Teams)

The Supported Lodgings, Supported Carers focus group provides a supportive forum to share good practice, local and national developments, and discuss issues around Care Inspectorate inspections. This group is aimed at members and corporate parents who provide supported lodgings or supported carer services for care-experienced young people and is free to attend for Staf members.

Care Leavers into Employment Focus Group
Wednesday 2nd September, 10.30am - 12.30pm (Microsoft Teams)
Our Care Leavers into Employment focus group tackles the issues faced by young people in both accessing and sustaining employment. This group brings together workers from across the public and third sector to discuss and dissect current practice issues and is free to attend for Staf members.

More than My Trauma
Wednesday 16th - Friday 18th September 2020 (Webinars)
Tuesday 7th - Wednesday 8th September 2021 (Conference)

taf is delighted to be one of the six partnership organisations bringing Dr Bruce Perry (virtually in the first instance!) to Scotland alongside Aberlour, Children in Scotland, Clackmannanshire Educational Psychology Service, Kibble, and Seamab.

More Than My Trauma is an opportunity to bring everyone with an understanding of adversity together to explore how we promote and support recovery from trauma. You can purchase your tickets to this year's webinars - and to the physical conference in 2021 here.

Staf National Conference - Save the Date!
On the 17th November 2020 Staf will be hosting a national conference. Following the success of previous Staf conferences on trauma and relationships, we are excited to be developing a new opportunity for practitioners, managers and young people to share, learn, and connect.
What #WeLove this month...
💜 CELCIS and The Scottish Care Leavers' Covenant (of which Staf is a member) published a crucial paper on the issue of digital exclusion for care experienced young people: 'Bridging the digital divide for care experienced young people in Scotland: If not now, when?'

💜 The Scottish Government and SCVO have announced Phase 2 of the 'Connecting Scotland' programme which will provide support to close the digital divide for families and young people leaving care: 'Connecting Scotland: £15 million to help 23,000 more households get online'.

💜 The Rock Trust has published an evaluation of their Housing First for Youth Project: 'Rock Trust’s Housing First for Youth project helps young people facing homelessness'.

💜 MCR Pathways reported the findings from their lockdown survey: 'How to Build Back Better: Listening to the Voices of Our Young People'.

💜 Over 100 care leavers from around 25 countries came together via webinar to suggest solutions and recommendations to ensure care leavers feel supported: 'Declaration on Responding to the transnational needs of Care Leavers amidst COVID-19 and beyond!'
You can make sure that your voice is heard through our members' event survey. We want to ensure we are creating events that will benefit you, our members.

It only takes
five minutes to complete by clicking on the link below!
Want to find out more about Staf events, projects, membership and training opportunities?
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Staf, Edward House, 2nd Floor, 199 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, Glasgow G2 3EX, United Kingdom
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