Children's Services Reform Research study: Scotland’s Children’s Services Landscape: The Views and Experiences of the Children’s Services Workforce
In 2022, CELCIS was asked by the Scottish Government to carry out a research study with the aim of gathering evidence to inform decision-making about how best to deliver children's services in Scotland in light of the proposed introduction of the National Care Service for Scotland, and its commitment to Keep the Promise of the Independent Care Review (2020).
The purpose of the Children’s Services Reform Research study is to answer the question: “What is needed to ensure that children, young people and families get the help they need, when they need it?”. The study has four separate strands of work, which together aim to provide a comprehensive and holistic approach to answering this question.
A final report will be published at the end of the study which will draw together and synthesise all four strands of the findings to address the research question. For this fourth, and final, strand of the study, we focused on the current (2023) service landscape in Scotland and asked the children’s services workforce about:
- local services for children, young people and families;
- multi-agency working between practitioners from different services;
- the continuity of support when young people transition from children’s services to adult services;
- children, young people and families’ consistency of relationships with practitioners and their participation in decision-making about their support and care;
- support for the workforce;
- and children’s services leadership and their ability to make change happen.
Through an online survey, focus groups and interviews with over 1400 members of the workforce at all levels across Scotland, working in a variety of services and sectors, we explored the workforce’s experiences, examples of improvements over time and what challenges and barriers there are to improving outcomes for children, young people and families.
In analysing the quantitative and qualitative data generated, the research team also considered whether there was any relationship between the children’s services workforce’s perceptions and experiences of the service landscape and different health and social care structures; the influence of integration on outcomes for children, young people and families; and what needs to be in place to best meet the needs of children, young people and families.
A full report with the findings of this research, a supplementary document explaining the methodology we used, and an accompanying summary have been published.