Stick with me! : how effective and lasting helping relationships support the educational experience of children looked after at home in Scotland

Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2017
Thesis identifier
  • T14662
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 201169911
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Home Supervision is a method regularly used in Scotland to support vulnerable children and families in their homes. Such children and their families are 'looked after' by local authorities and supported by allocated social workers. However, this cohort of young people has poorer educational outcomes compared with other looked after children. There is little in the way of research to explore why this is the case. This study seeks to address a gap in the literature by exploring issues of education and support from the perspectives of young people themselves.The research was undertaken with 15 young people, in three different geographical areas of Scotland using semi-structured interviews. Each initial interview was analysed and informed the production of a digital interactive presentation. Each presentation was shared with the young people to review and discuss the understanding of the content gleaned from the first interview and to act as a prompt for the second interview. Interviews were transcribed and the data coded, based on key themes for each person. Thereafter, summaries were written up and cross-cutting themes identified. These included:relationships with teachers and social workers; issues caused by transition; the benefits of coaching and mentoring; and issues caused by a lack of continuity of relationships.The study revealed that young people were more likely to struggle with their education during the transition from primary to secondary school. The study reinforced the degree to which young people under Home Supervision experience considerable disruption and change in their education and stability. They are more likely to trust their teachers than social workers when dealing with challenges and issues in their lives and are likely to experience isolation from voluntary community-based services.Mentors and coaches have a major role to play in supporting young people and encouraging resilience using informal youth work approaches. By acting as trusted supporters, they can help foster both confidence and social capital for the young people they support by assisting them to access relevant services and navigate bureaucratic systems and procedures such as children's hearings and employment.The current lack of continuity of professional relationship experienced by many children and young people who have a Home Supervision requirement, combined with the disparity in resources and services provided for them, are barriers that require to be addressed if Home Supervision is to be an effective support intervention for vulnerable children and young people.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2017
Former identifier
  • 9912559584502996