What does Real mean?

REAL stands for Relationships, Empathy and Love – three key things that guide this toolkit. Relationships makes people feel supported and connected, Empathy is needed to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and Love is what everyone deserves to feel. These values are important not only to young people but also for the workforce and you’ll see them again and again in this toolkit.

Our Journey

This project is based on two decades of dialogue, work and influencing of Staf – Scotland’s membership organisation for the all those involved in the lives of young people leaving care. Listening to lived experience it was clear that relationships are the key for good outcomes for young people and that relational practice empowers the workforce to do best. The real work started in 2019 after securing a grant from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation with a deep dive into understanding what relationships mean to young people and workers in Scotland. Since 2020 the project has been steered by the Real Advisory Group, made up of young people with care experience and workers with professional experience in the sector. In September 2021 we launched the first version of the living resource: The Real Toolkit – for young people and the workforce.

Promote meaningful relationships for young people in care and leaving care.

It is important that relationships are at the centre of support when young people transition out of care. Our vision is to achieve that for every young person leaving care in Scotland. It is through relationships that young people develop confidence and emotional intelligence and can overcome trauma. This is the foundation for happy and fulfilled lives, where young people feel supported and know there are people they can count on.

Guiding young people and the workforce through the transition out of care

Relationships matter. Young people in care deserve and have the right to meaningful, positive and lasting relationships with friends, family, support workers and anyone else who matters to them. The Real Toolkit is filling a gap and providing the workforce with the guides on how to achieve that for young people. At the same time, The Real Toolkit gathers information for young people to navigate an important stage in their lives successfully.

About Staf

Staf is Scotland’s national membership organisation for all of those involved in the lives of young people leaving care. Our vision is that the wellbeing and success of young people leaving care across Scotland is indistinguishable from that of their peers in the general population. In everything we do we live our values: We Listen, We Care, We Love.

visit staf website