Second phase of Bright Spots programme Scottish pilot now open
Local authorities are being invited to take part in the second phase of the Bright Spots programme in Scotland to help better understand children and young people’s experience of care, CELCIS has announced today (19 October).
The Bright Spots programme, a partnership between CELCIS and Coram Voice, brings two established surveys of young people’s experience of care to Scotland to be used by local authorities.
The initiative uses two online surveys, ‘Your Life, Your Care’, and ‘Your Life Beyond Care’, which have been developed to provide an opportunity for children and young people to share their experiences of care and how they feel about their lives, based on what they say is important to them.
Utilising this approach in Scotland offers a new opportunity for local authorities to listen to the voices of their care experienced children and young people in a new way and offer another opportunity to uphold children's rights and Keep The Promise of the Independent Care Review. The findings of the surveys enable local authorities to improve how local services are provided and focus changes where children and young people feel these are most needed.
The initial Scottish pilot, which launched in 2021, partnered with three local authority areas, Aberdeenshire, Dumfries and Galloway and Easy Ayrshire. Each local area started collecting survey responses in early 2022 and received the findings of the surveys in summer 2022, which have helped to highlight the ‘Bright Spots’ of their local services and inform changes to improve the lives of their children, young people and care leavers.
The surveys’ approach provides a measure of wellbeing, quality of care and of the experience of leaving care. Informed by research and developed by Coram Voice, working with Professor Julie Selwyn from the University of Oxford, these are designed to explore, collect, and understand through the use of age-appropriate questionnaires, the experiences of children from age four up to the age of 25. Children and young people helped to design the surveys, and children in care and care leavers shared their thoughts with researchers about what was important to them.
Now, CELCIS is asking local authorities in Scotland to step forward to express their interest in participating in the second phase of the Bright Spots programme Scottish pilot, starting later this year.
Three local authorities will be selected based on the extent to which they are able to meet key criteria and those selected will form a partnership with CELCIS and Coram Voice to support the delivery the surveys and dissemination of the findings and learning. The deadline to apply is Thursday 16 November.
In England, Wales and Scotland to date, the two online surveys have been used by over 80 local authorities and received almost 24,000 responses.