We have received this Press Release, explaining changes in Scotland. SIRCC has become the New Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children and Young People. The full title is a bit of a mouthful, but the New Centre is nice and snappy. We wish them well with their broader remit.
From the 1st April onwards, the New Centre for Excellence will be established. This will incorporate and build on the work of SIRCC (Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care) and aims to support professionals, carers and parents to provide the best possible outcomes for young people.
What will the New Centre be doing?
We will be working hard with a range of new partners to provide learning opportunities for staff across a wide range of settings, for parents and carers who support children and young people in care and those leaving care. There will be many opportunities for inter-professional training, such as the new distance learning social pedagogy.
We have a unique and exciting opportunity to build on the work undertaken across Scotland to share and learn from different approaches that different professional disciplines and expertise bring. We are keen to ensure that different professionals learn from each other so that policy and practice work across professional boundaries. Our aspiration is to support practitioners, parents and carers to provide the best possible outcomes for the 15,288 children and young people across Scotland who are looked after at home and away from home and those who have left care.
It is important to clarify that we are doing this with a reduction in our funding levels from previous years. Therefore, we are working strategically with a wide range of partners to avoid duplicating services. We are working to identify a range of ways to work in synergy with other organisations and will aim to develop new and unique opportunities. The work of the Looked After Children’s Strategic Implementation Group (LACSIG) provides a guide for our work as well as the raft of key policies influencing other wider sectors.
We are in the earliest stages of transition into the new centre. Over the next few months we will be working out our priorities and shaping our services. Our draft corporate and business plan will be ready in May and we will be consulting with you on the priorities and themes of our work over the summer.
We are restructuring our staff team between April and June as well as working on developing our new marketing and branding.
Who is involved just now?
The SIRCC Management Committee has formed the basis of a Transitional Management Committee to contribute to the development and planning for the future contract. Three additional external advisors have joined the Transitional Management Committee to bring a wider sector perspective and to affirm a more transparent process in the development of a new Centre. The external advisors are: Alistair Gaw (ADSW), Sara Lurie (The Fostering Network) and Susan Elsley (Independent Consultant and author of Joining the Dots a scoping study for a wider centre for excellence for looked after children).
What does this mean for residential child care?
We will continue to provide a range of services to the residential child care sector such as conferences, events, formal training and learning opportunities and supporting practice development. Students currently undertaking qualifying training such as the HNC, SVQs, PDA, Social Work degrees and the MSc in Advanced Residential Child Care will continue to study with the costs of their tuition fees covered by the new Centre. Some of these services will continue to be unique to residential child care.
What’s in a name?
We are keen to stress that our name ‘New Centre’ is a temporary name whilst we work on our marketing and branding activity which is being developed over the next few months. We aim to launch our new logo and identity in September.
The new Centre for Excellence will have a brand new website in early September, which will contain information on all our conferences and events relevant to the range of professionals who work with children and young people in care and those leaving care. This will be the home for a wide range of accessible learning resources, and where you will find our research, presentations and video clips from our conferences. You will be able to book on to courses, training and events directly through our website. You can find out about events being hosted throughout the sector (not just by the new Centre) in a collective events calendar. We will be seeking the help and feedback of a range of stakeholders on our new website so that it meets your needs and requirements.
Sign up for information and updates. Later this year, we will be having a formal launch of the new Centre and will host consultation opportunities to engage with you directly.
If you have any queries or suggestions, please email us at [email protected]