includem, the Scottish Charity supporting children, young people, and families to transform their lives, have successfully tendered to work with Health Improvement Scotland and the Care Inspectorate to develop the standards for Scotland’s Bairns’ Hoose to ensure every child and young person involved receives the best possible service.
In the 2021/22 Programme for Government, the Scottish Government committed to setting up Bairns’ Hooses – based on the pioneering Icelandic ‘Barnahus’ model – all over the country recognising the need to make things better for those under the age of 18 who have been victims or witnesses to abuse or violence (such as witnessing domestic abuse or criminal activity) which may have caused them significant harm.
Bairns’ Hoose is a child and young person friendly space bringing all services together in one place to support children and young people through what is currently a complex system to tell their story. Bairns’ Hoose will reduce the number of times a child or young person has to repeat their story to different professionals. Any information shared by a child or young person during their time at a Bairns’ Hoose can be used in places such as court.
As part of the development process, includem will work alongside 10 children and young people supported by the organisation for a period of five months to help develop the national standards for Bairns’ Hoose. Each child or young person involved in the process will be paid the living wage for their time and contributions.
Martin Dorchester, Chief Executive of includem, said:
“We are delighted to be involved in developing the standards for Barins’ Hoose here in Scotland. Right now, some children and young people find the current system compounds the trauma they have already experienced. That cannot continue.
“It’s vital that children and young people are supported properly through such a difficult process and includem, alongside children and young people, will play our part.”
Head of Research, Policy & Participation, Meg Thomas, added:
“This is a chance for includem to support the children and young people we work with to make a difference in Scotland now and in the future.
“This is a vital opportunity for children and young people to be heard and tell not only us but the Scottish Government how they would like to be supported in these difficult situations.”