Scotland’s First Toolkit for Care Leavers is now LIVE! Go to

We are delighted to announce that following more than 2 years of development work, Staf’s The REAL Toolkit has officially launched.

The REAL Toolkit, which stands for Relationships, Empathy and Love, is an online resource containing a series of practical, relatable and accessible guides for both young people leaving care and the workforce who support them. Behind each guide is the vision that every young person in care and leaving care will have positive meaningful relationships.

 The website and guides have been fully co-produced by The REAL Toolkit Advisory Group which is made of young people with care experience and members of the workforce with the support of husband and wife team SW&Co Design. Every element has been borne out of a co-design approach, whereby service users (young people with care experience) and providers (workforce) work together to produce a collective outcome. This approach has been applied throughout the design process resulting in a Toolkit which has both players at its heart.

The guides on the website follow a particular theme and cover a multitude of subjects, all of which are pertinent to a successful transition from care to independence. From moving home, employment, mental health to bespoke information on residential and secure care, fostering and kinship care, it is hoped that The REAL Toolkit will become a one stop shop for all those leaving care and for the workforce who support them and will play a pivotal role in helping to support organisations across the country to deliver the findings of the Independent Care Review, the recommendations of The Promise and ensuring relationship based practice is paramount.

A young person from The Advisory Group said –

‘I have really enjoyed co-producing the REAL toolkit. I think it’s really powerful when organisations take a co-design approach with young people and even more powerful when other partners and stakeholders are involved I think it’s going to be the way most organisations will work now especially with this toolkit being released, UNCRC incorporation and the work of The Promise.’


A workforce member of the Advisory Group said-

‘I really enjoy the co-production aspect of the work we are carrying out, as I feel it empowers young people and gives them ownership to make a positive change into services which they use.  Our aim is to have a one stop shop which can cover the varying degrees of information available across Scotland’ 

The Real Toolkit Project Lead Katrina added – ‘The work and commitment from the advisory group to create this resource has been inspiring. The advisory group have co-produced every aspect of this resource working with the amazing design duo @swandco design. The advisory group members have put so much into this project – taking it from an idea to an actionable resource that we hope young people with care experience and members of the workforce can get the most out of and contribute to. We are really proud of the resource and hope it becomes the go to resource for young people leaving care and members of the workforce looking for actionable guidance.’

Staf’s Head of Learning and Development, Pamela Graham said  
‘We are delighted to launch the REAL Toolkit today This is the culmination of more than 2 years of co- production work between young people with care experience and the workers who support them. Co-production is at the heart of everything we do here at Staf and we are proud to share this resource with our members, young people and the wider sector. This is just the beginning for the Toolkit and we look forward to working with partners and young people to further implement relationship based practice across Scotland.’

The REAL Toolkit is funded by The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

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