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Children and Young People as Partners in the Design and Commissioning of Research Fiona Morrison Scottish Women’s Aid.

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Presentation on theme: "Children and Young People as Partners in the Design and Commissioning of Research Fiona Morrison Scottish Women’s Aid."— Presentation transcript:

1 Children and Young People as Partners in the Design and Commissioning of Research Fiona Morrison Scottish Women’s Aid

2 Introduction Scottish Women’s Aid is an umbrella organisation that campaigns and lobbies for effective responses to domestic abuse Our members are 39 Women’s Aid groups which provide specialist services to women, children and young people who experience domestic abuse

3 Moving house research SWA commissioned University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Learning in Child Protection (CLiCP) to research children’s views & experiences of moving house because of DA One of the unique features was the extent of children’s involvement in the commissioning, design & dissemination of the research

4 Where the research came from Sustaining Tenancies focused on women’s needs It found out what mum’s thought cyp needed Important to find out what cyp themselves needed when they moved house because of domestic abuse

5 Why involve children? ‘New wave’ of DA literature from children’s own perspectives, has shown that they can be the experts… understand the experiences of cyp speak the language of cyp Commitment to children’s right to influence decisions and matters that affect their lives Research more informed & reflective of their experiences

6 How we involved children 3 key processes: 1. Setting research agenda Focus groups with children before defining research objectives 2. Members of research advisory group Oversaw development of project – design brief, recruiting researchers, directing & assisting researchers. 3. Dissemination of findings Co-presented findings to the government & homelessness conference

7 Set the research agenda Focus groups with children & young people to see what they thought was most important: Older group –Bullying –Settling into a new area –Difficulties with family relationships – mums, dads, siblings –Having to start at a new school

8 Set the research agenda Younger group –Leaving family & friends behind –Moving to a run down, horrible area –Having to change schools –Leaving possessions e.g. clothes & toys –Trying to fit in to a new area

9 ‘I was angry with my mum cos she was leaving my dad and I was angry with my dad cos he was letting her leave.’ ‘If I could change anything about when I moved it would be that I could have taken my grandma and my brother with me.’ ‘I would just be really happy and just talk to them and hopefully meet them again.’

10 ‘Erm, the thing that helped me most when I left was (someone) taking me out and like helping with support and advice…Just like erm, taking me out for the day so I didn’t have to think about it (having to leave home). ‘The thing that helped me most when I moved house was still going to my old school and being able to talk to my friends’

11 Direct the research Children were full members of the advisory group Children were supported throughout whole process Children were empowered to contribute to the research design & dissemination process

12 The Research Findings

13 Methodology 30 children & young people were interviewed Respondents aged 10-16 years Interviews conducted as a ‘journey’

14 Cyp - What They Said First Move – evoked strongest feelings  Awareness of domestic abuse  Anxiety/Fear about personal safety and their mothers  Confusion and resentment  Difficulty leaving precious and familiar things behind

15 Heading to refuge with a few bags

16 (With a few bags)

17 Positives: A move to safety Some were more positive about 1 st move:  Where move could be more planned  Where they had information about where they were going and about why they were moving  Where there was time to pack  Where the accommodation they were moving to was judged to be as good quality as the old


19 Support needs: the importance of talking Difficulty finding someone they could completely trust to talk to Mum as an important source of support Wider family more a source of practical support (moving, transport) Importance of being able to maintain old friendships

20 Talk to someone who keeps secrets

21 Boltholes & Escape Routes Need escape routes and bolt holes:  Relatives  Room at Gran’s house  Friend’s house  Somewhere outside, e.g. in the woods

22 Sources of Support Schools – major anxiety moving to a new school or returning to old school  Implications for relationships with friends  Lacked confidence in school to provide support they wanted

23 Sources of Support Refuges – problems sharing space, but they are safe and yp don’t have to pretend about domestic abuse  Support of new friends  Dedicated support worker played vital role as a trusted adult with whom they could open up  Escape from problems by doing outings and activities

24 Sources of Support Other organisations – initial contact with police and/or housing to find accommodation viewed as helpful  Provide practical support (e.g, putting family in touch with women’s aid, transport, emergency accommodation)  Designated workers – important source of support; enable yp to talk about experiences

25 3 Main Messages 1.Finding someone you can trust to talk to about problems; and not bottling things up 2.Getting out of violent situations (and persuading mum to go) 3.No matter how bad it is at the time, there is help out there, it can get better

26 Recommendations Support agencies should prioritise helping young people to maintain old friendships/networks and build new ones where not possible Young people may have support mechanisms in place; e.g. private boltholes. Support agencies should find ways to respect and facilitate these Ensure yp have someone they can talk to about experiences; someone they can trust to keep information private

27 Recommendations Ensure easier access to own dedicated support worker at every stage (from when they first move home to resettlement) Recognise that young people appreciate honesty, even where moves are not able to be planned Cash help directly to young people to help them replace precious things they have not been able to take with them

28 Remember….

29 For further information contact fiona.morrison@ fiona.morrison@

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