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How we can support you this autumn and winter

Updated: 21 September 2020

As we head into autumn and winter, we want to summarise clearly what our organisation is able to offer you in the months ahead.

We're aware that the past six months have been a period of stress and uncertainty for many children, young people and families.

Anyone who is part of our network is encouraged to engage with the services, projects and opportunities mentioned on this page. Children in Scotland will continue to do the best we can to represent your interests and concerns for the duration of the pandemic.

Our services

Enquire and Reach

The Enquire helpline team is available to answer any questions you have about additional support for learning in schools, including those about the impact of coronavirus, so please do get in touch.

The Enquire website also has a detailed ‘Coronavirus and additional support for learning’ section containing answers to many of the questions you may have about this.

The Reach website has a dedicated coronavirus pageoffering practical and reassuring advice and information to help children and young people cope with changes to their education and support during the pandemic.

Resolve: ASL Mediation

Referrals to Resolve are being managed on an individual basis and while face-to-face meetings currently are not taking place, mediation meetings online are available.

Please contact  the team at resolve@childreninscotland.org.uk or call us on  07955 788967.

My Rights, My Say

Face-to-face meetings aren’t happening right now but there is still help available for children aged 12-15 with additional support needs to speak up about the support they need with their education.

The team has written a coronavirus service update page outlining what is available from the partners.

The Early Learning and Childcare Inclusion Fund

The fifth round of the Scottish Government's Early Learning and Childcare Inclusion Fund, managed by Children in Scotland, is due to open on Tuesday 22 September. For information about the Fund, click here.

You can also sign up to the mailing list by emailing inclusionfund@childreninscotland.org.uk

The Access to Childcare Fund

In July a new fund, funded by Scottish Government and managed by Children in Scotland, was launched.

The Access to Childcare Fund will provide grants to establish models of delivery of out of school care, with a focus on priority family groups most at risk from living in poverty. The 15 successful applicants to the fund were announced on 11 September.

Our Learning Programme

In response to the pandemic, our programme of events moved online and our training sessions are now available as webinars. Through our Online Learning Programme we remain absolutely committed to leading and developing the sector.

One important way we’re continuing to do this is by providing training that strengthens the skills of those working with and for children at this critical time. Now more than ever, it's vital that you're able to learn, connect with others and share your own experiences. We are very lucky to work with a dedicated team of trainers who believe in this ambition and in our values as an organisation.

You can find all upcoming training here. New webinars are being added regularly and updates are available via our social media and e-newsletters. Some of our webinars are free, others are charged at a small cost of £25, which will go towards staffing, paying our trainers and administration costs.

Our communications team publishes a digital Webinar Guide every three months, with details of upcoming webinars and Q&As with trainers. The next guide, covering webinars in October until the end of the year, will be available from 30 September.

Commissioned training and personalised learning

We can also develop tailored learning opportunities for you to undertake while working at home. Any of the topics within our diverse learning programme may be delivered by webinar, including:

· Additional support needs

· Children and young people’s participation and engagement

· Early years learning and care

· Trauma, healing and emotional wellbeing

· Child protection.

If you are interested in taking this forward, please email our Learning & Events team – events@childreninscotland.org.uk

Policy, Projects and Participation

Policy work

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted significant additional challenges for families, especially those affected by poverty.

The Children's Sector Strategic and Policy Forum has been meeting monthly throughout the pandemic. It offers our sector leaders and members the opportunity to come together, share their priorities with Ministers and senior Scottish Government officials and influence change. During this period, we've been focusing on child rights, poverty, health and wellbeing and family support. You can listen to recordings of some of the Forum meetings on our podcast page.

We're also continuing to support meetings of the Cross-Party Group on Children and Young People, which are currently taking place online. The next meeting is scheduled for 7 October, where we will be assessing the impact so far of COVID-19 on children and young people.

Participation and Engagement Work with Children and Young People

We have developed our online digital engagement methodologies with the children and young people we are working with, reflecting their needs, preferences and interests.

Our online digital working continues to offer children and young people a range of ways to safely share their experiences and ideas, offer suggestions and recommendations and maintain social connections.

However, we are also acutely aware of the barrier online working can pose for some children and families and are working hard to offer a range of options on how to participate.

Since March, we have brought children and young people from across Scotland together online to discuss topics as diverse as Brexit, SQA exam results, cycling, housing, COVID-19, access to museums and young girls' mental health.

Communications

During the pandemic it’s more important than ever that we share your perspectives and represent you through our communications work. Our current communications include:

Website and social media

To find all our news, links to online learning opportunities, blogs and project updates, visit our website.

Our social media channels include Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. During the pandemic these channels are vital routes for communicating your views and experiences, keeping up to date, and driving dialogue.

Members’ News

If you are a Children in Scotland member you’ll receive this fortnightly bulletin in your email inbox every other Wednesday. We’re using this e-news to offer analysis of the pandemic’s impact on children and families from members and our staff; highlight useful resources from Children in Scotland and across the sector; and share some entertaining and creative responses to the current situation.

News Update

Our free digest of child policy news stories is published every Monday and Thursday. If you don’t already receive it, you can sign up here. The News Update also includes listings of all our upcoming webinars, and opportunities to advertise.

Latest News, Blogs and Podcasts 

We regularly publish news stories responding to developments in policy and legislation, sharing project launches or announcing appointments. Click here to read recent news stories and here for press releases.

Each week we publish new comment pieces, with many recent contributions focusing on responses to COVID-19, and we welcome suggestions for blog topics.

At the start of this year we launched the Children in Scotland Podcast, sharing learning, views and expertise from our staff and the wider children' sector workforce.

Children in Scotland Magazine

Our magazine, comprising news, interviews, comment, policy analysis and project profiles, remains an invaluable guide to current thinking and best practice in the sector. Currently it's published digitally and is free for all readers, with members receiving it a week ahead of full publication. The next edition, focusing on our Manifesto for the 2021-26 Scottish Parliament, will be available in December.

25 Calls

Our 25 Calls campaign continues, with ongoing blog responses and the monthly 25 and Up series, where contributors update on their original calls. The campaign thus far has involved contributions from more than 200 partner organisations and individuals. We want it to be a space for dialogue and championing of positive ideas during this difficult time. If you'd like to contribute a response, please contact our Communications Manager, Chris Small: csmall@childreninscotland.org.uk

Our partners

Parenting across Scotland

The team is continuing to provide information and advice to parents and carers via their website and have developed a specific coronavirus page.

National Parent Forum of Scotland

The team continues to provide information and advice and is releasing weekly e-newsletters which you can sign up for or access on the news page of their website.

Donate to support our ongoing work

We acknowledge that this is a challenging time, but we are encouraging anyone who is in a position to to make a donation to Children in Scotland.

Donations can be made when booking on webinars or via the Children in Scotland Give as you Live page.

Making a contribution in this way will not only allow us to continue offering events online and strengthen the quality of our training programme, it will go towards our project work which supports children, young people and families throughout Scotland.

Learning & Events

Find out more about our extensive programme of online learning via webinar

Click here for more

Resolve: ASL Mediation

Find out more about Resolve: Additional Support for Learning independent mediation service

Click here

Reach

Advice for young people on how to feel included, listened to and involved in decisions at school

Click here

Enquire

Find out more about Enquire, the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning

Visit the website

My Rights, My Say

My Rights, My Say supports children with ASN aged 12-15 to use their rights to support with their learning

Visit the website

The ELC Inclusion Fund

The Early Learning Childcare & Inclusion Fund will open for a fifth round this autumn

Find out more

The Access to Childcare Fund

Fifteen childcare providers were backed by this new fund in September 2020

Find out more

Policy, Projects and Participation

Our PPP team undertakes a range of work with a focus on child rights and participation

Find out more

Strategic & Policy Forum

The forum brings knowledge together to help identify sector-wide solutions

Find out more

Children in Scotland Magazine

Featuring news, analysis, comment, policy updates, interviews and best practice

Find out more

Our partner: Parenting across Scotland

Find out more about Enquire, the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning

Visit the website

Our partner: National Parent Forum of Scotland

Find out more about the Forum's work to ensure that parents play a full and equal role in education

Visit the website

Stay in touch

Sign up for your choice of updates from us: News, Learning , magazine, Policy or news from our partners

Click here to register

Voices, views and expertise

Our podcast series shares learning and perspectives from across the children's sector

Click here for more

25 Calls

Find out more about our exciting 25 Calls campaign, that brings together voices from the sector and beyond

Click here for more

25 and Up

Contributors to 25 Calls update on their campaign calls in this new blog series

Read a sample blog