Supporting Eastern European migrant families through effective service delivery: A knowledge exchange programme

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Sociology


This programme will build on findings from previous research in relation to Eastern European children's experiences of migration in Scotland and opportunities for integration. It will focus on capacity building and provide opportunities for knowledge transfer in relation to service provision for migrant groups in Scotland, with a focus on children of newly arrived migrant workers.

The programme will examine issues to do with inclusion of migrant families and better service delivery for new migrant groups through a series of events promoting knowledge transfer, research-informed policy and practice and user engagement. It will bring together policy makers, service managers, practitioners and migrants to engage in activities such as professional workshops, seminars and a conference to come up with ideas on better delivery of services for migrant children and their families and improve policy. A guide for migrant children newly arrived in Scotland will be launched in several European languages and an exhibition entitled 'Scotland, our country: A story of migration through children's eyes' with materials produced by children will be organised as part of the programme.

Planned Impact

The plans to ensure impact and how we will capture this are detailed in the 'Pathways to Impact' document in the attachment. In summary, through the proposed activities, a range of audiences will benefit from participation in events and opportunities to share good practice in supporting migrant groups and developing service delivery and policy targeted at inclusion of migrants, including:

- Practitioners all over Scotland working with migrant and non-migrant bilingual children and families will have the opportunity to participate in locally organised workshops, which will combine delivery of research-informed findings on migrant families' needs with opportunities for sharing of good practice;
- Policy makers and service providers from all over Scotland and further afield will be invited to contribute and attend the programme seminars and become familiar with the project findings, identifying opportunities to implement findings from the research into policy and practice; also, the events will provide further opportunities for cross-sharing of ideas between services and policy-making organisations at local and national level;
- Migrant children and young people will benefit from the distribution of a child-friendly multilingual guide to Scotland's schools and services entitled 'A young people's to Scotland's schools and services', which will include information for children on how the education system works and its requirements, as well as information on other services accessible to children (libraries, leisure, museums, medical services etc.) They will also benefit from being represented in the research findings disseminated and from their children's participation with images of their migration (art forms, posters, photos, videos) to the final exhibition;
- Non-migrant Scottish children will benefit from a better understanding of migrant children's stories and issues of diversity and equality in a democratic society;
- Academics will be directly involved in some of the project activities and will also be informed about the processes of knowledge exchange involved through the dissemination of findings at two external conferences and through emerging publications.
Description This was a knowledge exchange programme, and as such, we did not set to produce any empirical findings. However, based on our experience of organising the events and the feedback from the participants, we have drawn a series of conclusions in relation to the processes of knowledge exchange and knowledge transfer:

• All service providers and policy makers who participated in the events valued the opportunity to engage in KE activities and were very enthusiastic about taking part, but almost all encountered difficulties in sustaining participation in the project;

• When working with schools, we found that practitioners had to find time in their schedule to engage in project-related activities and often priorities in the day job meant that they had little time for additional commitments;

• Children's involvement in activities is heavily dependent on adults' decisions (at school level - through managers and teachers, at home- through parents) and when organising events for children, researchers need to negotiate children's participation at several levels (head teacher, teacher, parent) and take into account families' access to transport, availability and willingness to take children to events;

• Barriers to practitioners' participation included heavy workloads, restructuring and changes in individual roles, multiple job demands, limited decision making power in some roles; support from senior managers was key for practitioners to participate;

• Practitioners wanted information presented in an easily accessible format and events that would have an immediate benefit for their day job. Parents involved also had high hopes from the project, directly related to improvements wanted in service;

• Feedback from the events for practitioners, managers and policy makers has been consistently high, with participants valuing opportunities to share practice and ideas. The vast majority considered attendance as 'time well-spent' and very valuable for their job in the feedback collected;

• Work-based, work-related, practitioner and parent-driven projects are more successful and manageable than externally driven initiatives;

• There is still a considerable barrier in the involvement of ethnic minority parents with education and other services- parents, especially those newly arrived in a country, need clearer information on services available, entitlements and the expectations and 'rules of engagement' with public services.
Exploitation Route Organisations involved in working with migrant children and their families could make use of the research findings summarised in the 'Research report' and the guidance developed in the 'Toolkit for service providers'. Links to other relevant resources are also available through the project website, under 'Resources'.

Service providers and parents could find the 'Guide for migrant parents...' useful, as it provides information on services available and entitlements (although more directly relevant to Scotland).

The poster for young people could be used by teachers, community educators and young people when discussing migration and its implications for children, young people and families. Also, the photographs from the exhibition, available online, can provide useful teaching and learning material: The main project outputs include:

• A 'Toolkit for service providers working with migrant children and their families'

• A 'Guide for migrant parents on services in Scotland'

• A young people's poster/report entitled 'At home abroad: The life experiences of Eastern European migrant children in Scotland'

These have been included in an 'Information Pack' for service providers and policy makers, with all the materials available electronically through the project website.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education

Description Economic impacts Although we cannot report measureable economic impacts, by continuing to disseminate the research and materials available for practitioners and policy makers, the project has led to an overall better understanding of the needs of the migrant families and improved service delivery and multi-agency collaboration. We also hope that by informing policy makers and service managers on migrant families' needs, the project has contributed to increased evidence-based practice and more inclusive policies nationally and regionally. Societal impacts The main societal impacts we have facilitated are in terms of practitioners', service managers' and policy makers' better understanding of the needs of migrant EU nationals in Britain and reflection on their practice. A range of organisations and audiences from almost all local authorities in Scotland and several in England have benefited from engagement in the programme activities. We have also continued to raise awareness of the needs of EU migrant young people through the media and events for the general public, to contribute to the ongoing debates on national identity and Britain's place in Europe.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

Description Migrant children's access to services- issues for policy
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact The presentation allowed members of the group to become familiar with the findings from the research conducted with Eastern European families and its implications for policy and practice. Membership of the group included representatives from the Scottish Government, local authorities, local councillors, representatives from the UKBA and COSLA.
Description At Home Abroad Exhibition- Radio programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A radio interview for IRISS Radio- An internet radio for Scotland's social services

Increased requests for presentations and report findings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
Description At home abroad : Eastern European children's experiences after migration 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation given at 'Children, Families and Migration Experience: opportunities and challenges conference' (ESRC sponsored)

Follow up publication and increased requests for research report.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
Description At home abroad: Experiences of migration and intercultural activities 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Event at the annual conference of Scottish Association for teachers of English as an additionsl language (SATEAL)

Teachers said they will use the project findings to inform their practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
Description Eastern European children and young people's experiences of migration in Scotland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation given at Youth Studies Conference: New Agendas on Youth and Young Adulthood, Glasgow, 8th-10th April 2013

Presentation lead to further collaborations with academics and non-academic partners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
Description Launch of 'Guide for migrant parents on services in Scotland' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Event for families in Glasgow

Parents of newly arrived migrant children using the document for information on how to access services,
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013