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What did you tell us?
In 2021, 55 Care Experienced people including Who Cares? Scotland members shared their views on sexual and reproductive health as part of our Annual Participation Programme 2021-22 (see the report here). We were told how you learn, that you want autonomy in making decisions about sexual health, and that you wanted services to stop stigmatising Care Experienced individuals for being Care Experienced, or for other parts of their identity. Our National Representative Body shaped recommendations for change, including on:
- Supporting carers and families
- Bridging the generational gap in kinship care
- Training the workforce
- Honest and open conversations with carers and families
- Accessibility of confidential resources and services
- Understanding care experience and harmful prejudices
How have your views shaped change?
So far with these recommendations, we have influenced the Sexual Health Standards by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, and the Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s inquiry into the health and wellbeing of children and young people.
In 2022, Who Cares? Scotland has worked with Corporate Parent NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHS GGC) Health Board to involve Care Experienced young people in co-designing refreshed workforce guidance about relationships and sexual health, taking into account your views gathered in 2021.
32 young people aged 13-26 living in the Glasgow area took part in this project over 25 meetings. They had varying experiences of care including Foster Care, Secure Care, Residential Care, Kinship Care and having a Social Worker at home. We met as a group in the National Office, and adapted the project to ensure we heard from more seldom-heard groups, including:
- Young refugees with the Scottish Guardianship Service
- Our Glasgow Mum and baby group
- At the Good Shepherd secure care centre
The groups spent time building relationships and creating group agreements, reviewing the existing guidance and sharing experiences around conversations on sexual health and relationships. They then chose what resources they wanted to develop alongside workforce and carer feedback, designed and created the following suite of resources.
These have been built into an NHS GGC interactive toolkit for the workforce and carers to use with young people to support these conversations. The final version of the toolkit will only be available within NHS GGC, not Scotland wide.
The toolkit is currently being tested and you can check it out here. You can get involve in the testing by completing this user survey. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a prize draw for a £100 shopping voucher.
This project helps to uphold Care Experienced people’s rights to life, health, education, privacy, to be free from torture and discrimination.
If you require any of these resources in an alternative format, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out more about our wider Annual Participation Programme here. Look out for relevant Corporate Training events on this topic here.
Thanks to all the young people involved in this project for sharing your experiences, thinking about how things could be made better for Care Experienced children and young people, and creating advice for professionals and carers who will be supporting them around their relationships and sexual health.
Thanks to NHS GGC for funding the project and to Jill Wilson, Health Improvement Lead in Sexual Health at Sandyford for all your support. Thanks also to Aberlour’s Scottish Guardianship Service, Tola Ahmad for his interpretation and The Good Shepherd for helping to facilitate this project.
Check out our resources...
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