What difference has PaCT made to permanence in Scotland? And how do we find out?

Harris, Rachel and Gadda, Andressa (2014) What difference has PaCT made to permanence in Scotland? And how do we find out? In: European Scientific Association on Residential and Family Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF), 2014-09-02 - 2014-09-05.

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The CELCIS Permanence and Care Team (PaCT) was established in Autumn 2012, partially as a result of Henderson et al's (2011) review of care and permanence planning in Scotland. One of PaCT's aims has been to promote a common understanding of permanence and permanence planning across Scotland. PaCT has also sought to share evidence and good practice, support the development of concurrency models in Scotland, and influence the quality and consistency of care planning, while improving permanence systems. Yet this was challenging, as there is a lack of an agreed definition and understanding of how and when to proceed with permanence planning. Indeed the "meanings of permanence in terms of stability, emotional security and family membership into adulthood are complex and the placements and legal status thought best able to achieve permanence are contested" (Schofield et al, 2012). For the purposes of evaluating PaCT's interventions, we started by scoping intended outcomes to inform activity and the choice of baseline and outcome data. The team identified potential outcomes using a 'History of the Future' exercise (Markland et al, 2007). This was developed into a fuller logic model, with short to long-term outcomes, and possible indicators of impact of the program. This paper will provide a brief overview of the key findings of the Phase 1 evaluation of PaCT, highlighting the challenges in designing and undertaking an evaluation in a complex and sensitive area and considering ways in which this may be addressed in future. The Phase 1 evaluation sought to answer the following: * What value is there in having a shared vision for permanency? * To what extent has practice shared by PaCT been taken up and embedded? * Have practitioners made increased use of evidence in their practice? * What influence have PaCT had on developing concurrency models that work in Scotland? * How have PaCT influenced the quality of assessment/care planning? * How have permanence systems changed? And what impact has this had on quality and consistency? Data sources included questionnaires addressing understanding of permanence, training event evaluations to interviews with various stakeholders from statutory and non statutory agencies.