The last months have required a lot of adapting from organisations and workers. The Building Relationships Advisory Group wants to highlight ways in which relationships can remain at the centre of support to young people in care and leaving care during this time.

It's important to balance the risks of the pandemic with building and maintaining relationships with young people.

Here are 6 top tips from the advisory group: 

1. Staying in touch with young people should be the priority. Trust staff to stay in touch in a way that fits the person:

  • Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat)
  • Phone calls and texting
  • Letters
  • Visits

2. Everyone is anxious and sometimes new rules and procedures have to be put in place to keep everyone safe. However, it's important to hold these under constant and frequent review. Being too risk-averse can hinder relational and emotional wellbeing.

3. Take this moment to plan ahead. Evaluate what happened in the past months and take the positive learnings forward.

4. Check in with the 'unwritten rules' of an organisation - is practice guided by these or are staff allowed to be flexible and responsive?

5. Continue to provide access to quick and unconditional financial and practical support (for example: phone credit, food shop and other essentials)

6. Make sure staff are well taken care of and able to take a break.

As usual you can get in touch with Staf's Learning and Development Project Worker, Papoula Petri Romão if you want to get involved via [email protected]

Follow @stafscot and @papoulapr on Twitter to keep up with the project.

Building Relationships is a Staf project focused on improving relationship-based practice across Scotland, funded by The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The project's initial phase, 'Mapping Relationship' was completed in 2019 and involved extensive consultation in person, in workshops, online and at our focus groups. You can find out more about the background to the project here