The Who Cares? Scotland Helpline is a lifelong offer open to Care Experienced people of any age across Scotland. Following on from the positive feedback on our Covid-19 Helpline throughout the first few months of the Coronavirus crisis, it is evident that a dedicated phone line is a valued source of connection for our community.
What does ‘Care Experienced’ mean?
The term Care Experienced refers to anyone who has been or is currently in care or from a looked-after background at any stage in their life, no matter how short, including adopted children who were previously looked-after. This might include kinship care; looked after at home; residential care; foster care; secure care; or adoption.
What is the helpline?
The Helpline is open 12 noon to 4pm from Monday to Friday. We can be contacted by phoning 0330 107 7540 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Helpline offers the following:
Connection with Who Cares? Scotland
Support and signposting around finances, benefits, housing, health, employment, education, and rights
A listening ear
We’ve made this helpful video, outlining ways we can support you and how to get in touch.
Testimonies from previous callers
I called the Helpline because I was confused about the Care Experienced bursary, how I could access it, and how it might affect my other finances. The Who Cares? Scotland worker was friendly and got me the information I needed. They supported me with my application too. Through talking with them, I realised I could also use some help from a local advocate, about another part of my life. So the worker referred me for advocacy in my area.
Care Experienced person aged 22
I was struggling with my mental health and being passed from pillar to post, around different services. I felt like I was being judged because of the fact I grew up in care. I just wanted some support so I can be the best parent I can be for my kid, but nobody was listening to me.
I called the Helpline and a really nice person answered, who didn’t judge me. We spoke for a long time and I told them all about how I was feeling. They really listened, and I felt better after that conversation. In the end, we even had a bit of a laugh over the phone. They checked in with me the week after, to see how I was doing.
Care Experienced person aged 36
I called the Helpline because I was experiencing homelessness. I don’t have any contact with social work anymore, and I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t safe where I was. The worker supported me a lot over a period of a few weeks, advocating on my behalf until we secured a better, more permanent place for me to stay. With them alongside me I felt less afraid, as I was not left on my own to communicate with my local authority. I am still in touch with the worker from the Helpline, and together we are exploring different goals I have in my life.
Care Experienced person aged 29
With thanks to Scottish Local Authorities, funding partners and donors who make our work possible.