Lifelong Links Briefing II

Year: 2021
Topic: Corporate parenting, Health and Wellbeing, Kinship care
Author: Nadine Fowler and Rober Porter

Lifelong Links is an innovative approach to supporting children and young people who are looked after away from their parents and their families. It was developed to address concerns about how networks of children who are looked after can become fragmented, impacting upon their sense of belonging and identity. The process works to identify and engage relatives and other supportive adults, including those who have become distant, or are not yet known to the child or young person. This network of people is then brought together in a family group conference (also known as family group decision making) to make a support plan with the child or young person.

Lifelong Links is currently being trialled in five Scottish local authorities, three of whom are taking part in the Scottish Evaluation. Working collaboratively with colleagues from the Rees Centre (based at the University of Oxford) and Family Rights Group, CELCIS has developed and conducted the evaluation of the Lifelong Links model in Scotland.

This second Briefing follows the first Lifelong Links Briefing, published in 2020, and reflects some new concerns around the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis on Lifelong links, and also provides an update on the overall evaluation activities in Scotland and outline what we hope to achieve between now and the evaluation ending in March 2023.