Supporting Eastern European Migrant Families Through Effective Service Delivery: A Knowledge Exchange Programme (Follow On Fund)

Project: Research

Description

"This programme consisted of a series of capacity-building and user engagement activities, aimed at addressing the knowledge needs in relation to service provision for newly arrived migrant families. The programme aimed to create sustainable mechanisms of knowledge exchange between a range of agencies involved in service delivery for new migrant groups and used the findings from previous ESRC-funded research on Eastern European children's experiences of migration in Scotland.

The programme promoted the inclusion of migrant families and better service delivery for new migrant groups through a series of events which offered diverse opportunities for research-informed policy and practice and user engagement. It brought together policy makers, service managers, practitioners and migrant families in activities such as research-based seminars, workshops for practitioners, presentations at conferences and for specialist organisations (including local and national government), a national conference and events for the general public. In total, over 500 practitioners and policy makers and thousands of children and parents took part in events. As part of the project, an Information pack for service providers was distributed to all local authorities in Scotland and a Guide for migrant parents on education and other services as well as a children's and young peoples booklet on migrant children's experiences were produced for the general public. Finally, an interactive exhibition entitled At home abroad: Children's exhibition on migration was organised at the School Museum in Glasgow, with materials produced by children.

For details on the research the grant was based on and to download materials, please check: www.migrantchildren.net"

Key findings

"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."
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/03/1228/06/13

Funding

  • ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council): £48,647.00

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