Staf was established in 1998 in response to concerns that a number of frontline practitioners shared about the major difficulties care leavers experienced during their fragile transition to adulthood and independent living.
The introduction of a Membership Subscription Scheme in 2002 meant that organisations and practitioners could join Staf from across the public, private and third sectors, and work together to improve the life chances for all of Scotland’s Care Leavers.
Staf has had a significant impact on improving the level of support for young people leaving care in Scotland as a result of the networks we have created for sharing good practice at both local and national levels, and also through influencing national policy developments.
We work hard to ensure that young people and those who support them have their voices heard and are directly involved in creating change.
Care leavers themselves have remained at the heart of Staf, taking an equal place alongside practitioners, managers and decision makers in continuing to inform the necessary change and developments which lead to care leavers achieving the same outcomes as their peers.
In 2002, a group of care leavers set up a pioneering young person’s group, The Debate Project, with support from Staf. Their aim was to ensure that young people leaving care in Scotland were empowered to share their views and have their voices heard directly by the people who made decisions affecting their lives. The Debate Project was highly successful, with a life span of over 11 years.
Our newest project Soundings, funded by Young Start, is currently under way and will bring together a group of young people who will design and deliver a series of events which will feed into our Managers’ Forums and Practitioners’ Gatherings.
In the current challenging landscape we are recognised as an influential voice for the opinions, concerns and issues facing care experienced young people in Scotland and those who support them.