Technology used to find gaps and show where services exists
A digital map has been created by Scottish Mentoring Network in partnership with Inspiring Scotland and YMCA Scotland to scope mentoring in Scotland.
Using technology to map services for care experienced children and young people, it gives a visual snapshot of provision and also shows what gaps exist.
The map is the first step in the process and will be followed by a report into the findings of this research.
The report will be officially launched later this year, with a roundtable event happening at the Scottish Parliament on 24 November. Scottish Mentoring Network and Inspiring Scotland will invite the key partners who have been involved in this piece of work, plus MSPs who may have an interest in mentoring.
Maureen Watson, SMN chief executive, said: “We want to take this opportunity to thank the Scottish Government for funding this much-needed mapping exercise and our project partners, Inspiring Scotland and YMCA Scotland, for their valuable insights and practical knowledge of the care-experienced landscape.
“A big thank you also to everyone who completed our surveys and participated in our online focus groups. SMN’s strategic vision is for effective, high-quality mentoring, recognised, valued and available to all. This exercise has highlighted some of the gaps in provision that we need to work with embers and partners to remedy. As always, longer term funding for such services is key.”
Colin MacFarlane, national programme manager at YMCA Scotland said: “Working in partnership with Inspiring Scotland and the Scottish Mentoring Network has been a great way to share learning, practice and knowledge of the opportunities available for children, young people and families to engage in mentoring.
“The YMCA in Scotland has a long tradition of providing support in communities through a whole range of different services designed to put people at the centre of their own learning. YMCA Scotland coordinates a range of mentoring services across the country based on the provision of a stable adult role model.
“The work to put this mapping together has identified where young people don’t have the opportunity to access the support they need in relation to mentoring, As part of this partnership YMCA Scotland is keen to tackle this issue. Given the challenges young people have faced in recent years it is vital that we work together to provide the services they need to grow and develop their fullest potential.”
Susie White, intandem fund manager at Inspiring Scotland also commented: “We understand how important supportive, reliable mentoring relationships are to all children and young people for developing positive wellbeing, gaining access to opportunities and building a strong foundation for relationships in the future.
"Intandem’s volunteers and 12 partner charities can offer long-term mentoring relationships for children and young people involved in the care system, specifically those living at home with compulsory supervision orders, across 19 local authority areas.
"This mapping work highlights cold spots where some young people can’t benefit from mentoring. We would like to see every child in or on the edge of care offered mentoring support to help them build their wellbeing, resilience and future.”