Current funding opportunities

Young People with Care Experience Programme National House Project Scotland

The Life Changes Trust announced a £4m investment in its Home and Belonging initiative in 2018.

The Trust’s Young People with Care Experience Programme targets young people aged 14-26, and this initiative has a focus on young people who are ready to move on from formal care. The overall aims of Home and Belonging are to ensure that:

•    young people with experience of care have positive experiences of their home environment 

•    young people with experience of care have feelings of belonging and connection to their communities 

•    young people with experience of care have positive experiences transitioning out of their care placements 

12 projects across Scotland were funded during the first phase of Home and Belonging. These innovative projects are all underway and you can learn more about them here.  The next phase of Home and Belonging is focused on supporting the introduction of the National House Project (NHP) approach in Scotland. The NHP provides support and expertise to Local Authorities to set up Local House Projects for young people leaving care.  Read more about the National House Project here.

Their approach is centred around small groups of young people becoming part of a community that supports them to develop the practical and emotional skills that they need to live independently. Through each Local House Project, young people work on houses that will become theirs to live in, and their community of support means that they have trusted relationships in place to help them as they set up home for the first time.  Read some feedback from young people on the National Housing Project here

The NHP approach is currently operating across 5 Local Authorities in England, with funding from the Department for Education. The Trust is committed to bringing an adapted version of the NHP approach to Scotland. We are mindful of the Continuing Care legislation and Staying Put Guidance, so while the National House Project in England works largely with young people in the 16-18 age group, Local House Projects in Scotland should be developed to fit the Scottish context.

Local Authorities across Scotland are eligible to apply for this funding to set up a Local House Project. 

The House Project Funding Opportunity will be open across two stages. Interested applicants are invited to submit a Stage One application for consideration by a decision panel which will be held in mid-December 2019. Successful applicants from Stage One will then be invited to submit a Stage Two application for final consideration by a decision panel in March 2020. Read more about how to apply for Stage 1, the process of application, and workshops to help your thinking in our Stage One Application Form, which you can download here.

Successful applicants after Stage 2 will receive funding to deliver the first year of their project where there is an explicit commitment from the Local Authority to sustain the project for an additional two years.

Funding from the Trust will reduce in year two and year three to focus on support and learning. Read more about the cost breakdown for delivering a Local House Project here

We have also provided a Stage 1 Funding Template which you can download here.

Please return your application to ypce@lifechangestrust.org.uk by Friday 8th November at 5pm. Please put ‘House Project Stage One Application Form’ in the subject line of your email. 

If you have any questions or are unclear about your application, just get in touch by emailing ypce@lifechangestrust.org.uk

 Invitation to tender: Relationship-based practice and policy, Young People with Care Experience Programme     

Evaluation of Relationship-based practice and policy

Research has demonstrated the positive impact of consistent caring relationships for young people with care experience. However, the reality for many young people within the care system is that relationships with adults can be short-term and unreliable, and as a result they often lack depth. This in turn may compound previous experiences of relationships which have been neglectful, fractured or even abusive.

While there is growing recognition at a policy level of the importance of meaningful relationships in achieving successful outcomes, the current practice culture makes implementation of relationship-based practice challenging. 

The Young People with Care Experience Programme expects all of its funded work to contribute to strengthening relationships. However, the Programme is funding two initiatives with particular synergy to the theme of relationship-based practice and policy – Creative and Active Lives and Workforce Development. We wish to commission some distinct evaluation of each of these two initiatives, but we are also keen to explore the relationship-based practice and policy element across both.

As a result, this evaluation project will have two distinct but interrelated parts: an examination of the outcomes achieved individually by the Creative and Active Lives initiative and the Workforce Development initiative a thematic exploration of relationship-based practice and policy across both initiatives, with the aim of assessing if the initiatives are influencing organisational culture and contributing to wider systems change

Project specification Part One: Evaluation of the Creative and Active Lives and Workforce Development initiatives

Creative and Active Lives

The Trust’s Creative and Active Lives initiative aims to:

  - grow opportunities across a range of creative and active pursuits for young people with care experience

  - enable young people with care experience to increase their skills, wellbeing and social connections

  - build confidence and skills among staff, families and carers in relation to creative and active pursuits

 - promote learning from funded projects to support wider and sustained improvements for all young people with care experience

There are 14 funded projects representing an investment of around £2.7m based in multiple regions across Scotland. These projects began in 2018 – for more details, see our webpages.

We expect the following outcome themes to be the focus of the work of evaluating the Creative and Active Lives initiative:

(i) assessing the effectiveness of the initiative in improving the wellbeing of young people with experience of care, particularly in relation to:

  - whether young people with experience of care have increased in confidence

  - whether young people with experience of care have increased their skills (creative skills/sporting skills/social skills)

  - whether young people with care experience are more likely to engage in creative or active pursuits

  - determining the impact of the initiative in relation to building capacity and confidence amongst staff, families and carers (research indicates that young people with care experience are more likely to take part in creative/active pursuits if an adult they have a relationship with also takes part)

(ii) assessing the effectiveness of the initiative in raising awareness and improving practice in organisations and services, particularly in relation to:

  - understanding barriers to involvement or continued involvement in creative and active pursuits for young people with care experience

  - overcoming barriers to involvement or continued involvement

  influencing organisational culture, e.g. staff and carers and/or young people feel more included/engaged

  - the sharing of learning across services or organisations

Workforce Development

The Workforce Development initiative has a focus on strengthening the knowledge and skills of the paid and voluntary workforce so that they are more able to meet the needs and aspirations of care experienced young people. The specific aims of the funding are to:

  - support the paid and voluntary workforce to put love and relationships at the heart of the care system

  - build a sense of shared purpose and understanding between care experienced young people and the adults who support them

There are 7 funded projects representing an investment of around £1.4m based in multiple regions across Scotland. These projects largely began in 2019 – for more details, see our webpages. We expect the following outcome themes to be the focus of the work of evaluating the Workforce Development initiative:

(i) assessing the effectiveness of the initiative in improving the ability of carers and staff to put relationships first, particularly in regard to:

  - whether staff and carers demonstrate belief and trust in young people with care experience

  - whether staff and carers take a flexible approach to relationship boundaries

  - whether staff and carers can offer emotional and practical support to young people with care experience

(ii) assessing the effectiveness of the initiative in raising awareness and improving practice in organisations and services, particularly in relation to:

  - ongoing engagement with young people with care experience in service design, planning or governance

  - improved awareness of the needs and aspirations of young people with care experience

  - changes to internal policies/protocols/practices

  - the sharing of learning across services or organisations

Part Two: thematic exploration of relationships across both initiatives

Both the Creative and Active Lives and the Workforce Development initiatives have a strong focus on relationships. The second part of this evaluation will explore the impact of the projects on relationship-based practice and policy. We are interested in exploring this impact at the organisational/service level, where it has significant potential to create lasting changes for young people with care experience.

We expect these outcome themes to be the focus of this part of the evaluation:

Reviewing the impact of both initiatives on developing relational organisational cultures, particularly in regard to:

  - the ability of staff/carers to flex standard policy and practice to meet the needs of young people with care experience

  - the opportunities for young people with care experience to shape/influence service provision

  - the ability of organisations/services to take a risk informed approach (risk aware as opposed to risk averse)

The Trust is also interested in reviewing the impact of both initiatives in relation to their contribution to wider systems change. More information about this is included in the full tender specification, but we are looking for any evidence that demonstrates that the initiatives are contributing to the following systems change principles:

  - encouraging people to work together on collective solutions

  - supporting the growth of a learning culture within and/or across organisations and services

  - offering more opportunities for people at the frontline/grassroots to take up leadership roles

The funded projects within the Creative and Active Lives initiative and the Workforce Development initiative do currently meet in network groups and we anticipate this will continue during the lifetime of this evaluation.

Submitting a bid

Before you submit a bid, please read carefully the full tender specification, which includes more detail of our expectations and how you should approach your tender. The full tender document is avaiable on Public Contracts Scotland, and can be accessed here.

In your bid, please outline ways in which you will ensure that a broad range of young people with care experience will be engaged in the evaluation in a creative and empowering way. Please note that since the Programme supports work with young people aged 14-26, some of the participants in these initiatives will be under the age of 18 and a thoughtful and robust approach to Safeguarding is needed. 

In addition, please note that the Trust plans to commission a Participatory Evaluation Project, which will recruit, train and support young people with care experience to act as researchers. We will expect the evaluator for the Relationship-based practice and policy initiatives to work closely with the Participatory Evaluation Project so young people can be fully involved in the evaluation process.

The funded projects have their own self-evaluation plans, and we are looking for an evaluator who will add value to this activity. Please consider how you will avoid duplication of effort and engage the projects during the evaluation, e.g. by sharing interim findings. When creating your tender, please consider how you will work with the Trust on the dissemination of your findings. This should include creating recommendations which can inform our influencing work.

Finally, please note that the Trust has commissioned an overarching evaluation of the Trust’s overall approach. We will expect evaluators to share findings with those who are conducting the high level evaluation of the Trust and to be mindful of the Trust’s timetable for gathering evidence for the purposes of influencing.  More detail can be provided by Mhairi Reid or Catriona Kelly if required (contact details below).

Information that must be included in your bid

Please paint a very clear picture of what your vision for the evaluation is and provide us with appropriate detail in relation to how you will achieve this vision – there is no word length limit for submissions. Bidders should demonstrate an ability to commit to this work over a period of 18 months (December 2019 to May 2021 – see timescales in the full tender document).

Deadline for bids:

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 at 5pm                                 

The full specification with more information and timelines, is available through Public Contracts Scotland (PCS). Bids should be submitted through PCS, OR sent to ceypapplications@lifechangestrust.org.uk OR posted to Mhairi Reid, Life Changes Trust, Edward House,199 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3EX.

Bids submitted after the deadline will NOT be accepted. It is your responsibility to make sure that your bid reaches the Life Changes Trust by the deadline.

Enquiries should be directed to Mhairi Reid: mhairi.reid@lifechangestrust.org.uk or Catriona Kelly: catriona.kelly@lifechangestrust.org.uk or via the Public Contracts Scotland portal.

Value of the tender

The value of this tender is in the region of £80,000 over 18 months (inclusive of VAT).

 Invitation to tender: Participatory Evaluation Project, Young People with Care Experience Programme 

Project Specification 

The Trust is looking to commission an organisation (or a collaboration of organisations) to deliver a Participatory Evaluation project over a period of seventeen months.

The project will involve recruiting, training and supporting a group of young people with care experience to act as a resource to the external evaluations commissioned by the Young People with Care Experience Programme within the Trust. The purpose of this project is to: 

•    support the external evaluations of Programme initiatives, adding depth to the findings and further demonstrating the Trust’s commitment to putting beneficiaries at the heart of our work

•    encourage young people with care experience who engage with Trust-funded projects to take part in evaluation 

•    capture learning on how to develop and carry out a participatory evaluation approach in partnership with young people

The main objectives of this work are to: 

•    recruit a diverse group of young people with care experience to act as peer researchers   

•    train and support peer researchers to conduct participatory evaluation

•    liaise with other Trust funded external evaluators to support the inclusion of peer researchers in their work 

•    build relationships with peer researchers and support them to develop relationships with each other 

•    provide appropriate pastoral care to support young people to take up this opportunity  

By adopting a participatory evaluation approach and supporting young people with care experience to meaningfully take part in research we expect to achieve the following: 

•    a minimization of power imbalances between researchers and participants 

•    a reduction of bias in data gathering and analysis 

•    positive outcomes for peer researchers themselves, such as increased skills and confidence to engage in research that can effect change  

Project Requirements 

Participatory Evaluation is a relatively complex area of work, and we would expect your proposal to be well thought-out, safe and robust. Therefore, all submissions must consider the Trust’s approach to the following: 

Ethical Considerations 

We are aware that conducting research with peers can bring about distinct risks for those involved. It is vital that young people employed as peer researchers are supported within their role, alongside the young people involved in Trust funded projects.   Please also note that since the Trust supports work with young people aged 14-26, some of the participants in the Trust funded projects will be under the age of 16. As such, in your proposal please detail how you will ensure your projects meets a high ethical standard, including obtaining informed consent, your approach to safeguarding and confidentiality.   

Recruitment of Peer Researchers 

Due to the scope of this work the Trust would expect all young people employed as peer researchers to have experience of care. In your proposal, please outline ways in which you will ensure that a diverse range of young people with care experience will be recruited as part of the project.  Please also consider how you will reach young people with protected characteristics, and young people who may not immediately consider themselves as candidates for these roles.  

Remuneration of Peer Researchers 

It is the Trust’s expectation that all young people recruited as peer researchers will be paid in recognition of their skills, expertise and experience (including time given for travel and training). In your proposal please detail how you will approach the retention and remuneration of peer researchers, including the provision of training and development.  We are also aware that at times payment can be a barrier to some young people being able to take up such opportunities, and as such we would welcome consideration of alternative remuneration approaches for young people in this particular situation.    

Relationships and Pastoral Support 

The Trust believes that dedicating time and resource to creating positive relationships will be an important aspect of this work. Strong working relationships between the peer researchers, as well as those responsible for the management of these roles, will support the delivery of the project.  As such, in your proposal please consider how you will approach relationship building and pastoral care for peer researchers and existing staff members.   

Reflection and Learning 

As mentioned above, the Trust is keen to capture learning about developing and using a participatory evaluation approach with young people with care experience. By this we mean understanding more about what works well and what doesn’t in this context, and learning more about the potential impact of this approach.  We would encourage applicants to consider how they will capture this learning in a creative way, including how they will involve the peer researchers in designing an approach to reflection and learning.

Please also consider how you will work with the Trust to share findings with beneficiaries, awardees, and other stakeholders, including funders. This should include developing recommendations which can inform our influencing work.

Collaboration with Commissioned Evaluations 

As the focus of this project will be supporting peer researchers to participate in the evaluation of projects funded by the Trust, a high level of collaboration between the successful bidder and the commissioned evaluators will be expected.  It is intended that the successful bidder will support the peer researchers to work with evaluations commissioned by the Trust. These evaluations are as follows: 

1.    Relationship-based Policy and Practice  

2.    Influence of our Beneficiaries 

3.    Impact of Co-production 

For more information on the evaluations this work will support please the full tender document.

In your proposal please detail your intended approach to working with Trust commissioned evaluators to ensure the peer researchers have maximum impact within the project lifespan.  Finally, please note that the Trust has commissioned an overarching evaluation of the Trust’s overall approach. We will expect the successful bidder to share learning with those who are conducting the overall, high level evaluation of the Trust and to be mindful of the Trust’s timetable for gathering evidence for the purposes of influencing, adhering to the timescales set out in the tender document.  

Information that must be included in your bid 

Before you submit a bid, please read carefully the full tender specification, which includes more detail of our expectations and how you should approach your tender. The full tender document is available on Public Contracts Scotland, and can be accessed here.

Please paint a very clear picture of what your vision for the project is and provide us with appropriate detail in relation to how you will achieve this vision – there is no word length limit for submissions.    

Bidders should demonstrate an ability to commit to this work over a period of 17 months (January to May 2021 – see timescales in the full tender document). 

Deadline for bids

Wednesday, 23 October 2019 at 5pm   

Proposals should be submitted through Public Contracts Scotland, sent to ypce@lifechangestrust.org.uk or posted to: Catriona Kelly, Life Changes Trust, Edward House, 199 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3EX.  

Proposals submitted after the deadline will NOT be accepted. It is your responsibility to make sure that your proposal reaches the Life Changes Trust by the deadline.   

Enquiries should be directed to Catriona Kelly at catriona.kelly@lifechangestrust.org.uk or via the Public Contracts Scotland portal.   

Value of the tender   

The value of this tender is in the region of £65,000 over 17 months (inclusive of VAT). 

 Invitation to tender: External Evaluation of Champions Boards for Young People with Care Experience   

Project Specification

The Trust believes that investing directly in young people and placing them at the heart of all efforts to transform the care system is vital if we are to achieve lasting change. This evaluation project will explore the impact of the investment in the Champions Board initiative, particularly in terms of:

  • nurturing leadership capability, developing skills and growing aspiration amongst young people with care experience
  • contributing to wider systems change for young people with care experience

The evaluation project will have two distinct but interrelated parts:

  1. an assessment of the outcomes achieved by Champions Boards (we expect this to make up around 75% of the evaluation project) 

  2. an assessment of the outcomes achieved by the National Champions Board Network (we expect this to make up around 25% of the evaluation project)

For more information on this evaluation and the Champions Board initiative, please see the the full tender document.

Part One: Evaluation of Champions Boards for Young People with Care Experience and the National Champions Board Network

The following outcome themes will be the focus of the work of evaluating the Champions Board initiative: 

  • assessing the effectiveness of the initiative in directly benefiting young people with experience of care 

- young people with care experience have increased their confidence and skills in influencing policy and practice

- young people with care experience have become more active in their communities 

- young people with care experience have developed positive relationships (with peers/Corporate Parents/other staff)

  • determining the impact of the initiative in relation to strengthening the commitment, knowledge, skills and capacity of organisations

- organisations have robust participation and engagement strategies (development of a culture which supports young people to participate, engage and express what matters to them)

- organisations can demonstrate positive progress on relationship-based practice

- organisations uphold young people’s rights

  • reviewing whether or not policy and practice have become more responsive to the needs and aspirations of young people with care experience
  • assessing the effectiveness of the initiative in improving public awareness and attitudes towards young people with care experience
  • determining the impact of the initiative in relation to service improvements for young people with care experience

- each Board has chosen at least one service area to focus on, including Housing; Education; Employment; Health & Wellbeing; Youth Justice

As well as reviewing the progress of Champions Boards against the outcomes outlined above, the evaluation should also consider the contribution Boards are making to wider systems change for young people with care experience. Outcome themes relevant to this work include:

  • prioritisation of relationship-based policy and practice 
  • evidence of a culture of learning and reflection
  • prioritisation of employment opportunities for young people with care experience 
  • development of leadership opportunities which are appropriate to the skills and talents of young people with care experience 
  • improved collaboration across service and sector boundaries

Part Two: Champions Board Network

The following outcome themes will be the focus of the work of evaluating the Champions Board Network:

  • assessing the effectiveness of the Network in enabling the sharing of learning from different Champions Boards  
  • determining the impact of the Network in relation to giving Champions Boards opportunities to strengthen their participation and engagement approach 
  • reviewing whether or not the Network has improved collaboration across Local Authorities and regions, and supported staff and young people to develop their leadership skills

Project Requirements

Through this contract, evaluators will have access to a range of resources, including but not limited to:

  • monitoring and self-evaluation information from Champions Boards
  • learning reports produced by the Life Changes Trust
  • champions Boards contacts and the National Network
  • key stakeholders 

Submitting a bid

Before you submit a bid, please read carefully the full tender specification, which includes more detail of our expectations and how you should approach your tender. The full tender document is available on Public Contracts Scotland, and can be accessed here.

Please paint a very clear picture of what your vision for the evaluation is and provide us with appropriate detail in relation to how you will achieve this vision – there is no word length limit for submissions. Bidders should demonstrate an ability to commit to this work over a period of 17 months (January 2020 to May 2021 – see timescales in full tender document, accessed here). 

Deadline for bids: Friday, 8 November 2019 at 5pm

The full specification with more information and timelines, is available through Public Contracts Scotland website. Bids should be submitted through Public Contracts Scotland, sent to ceypapplications@lifechangestrust.org.uk or posted to:

Mhairi Reid

Life Changes Trust

Edward House

199 Sauchiehall Street

Glasgow

G2 3EX

Bids submitted after the deadline will NOT be accepted. It is your responsibility to make sure that your bid reaches the Life Changes Trust by the deadline.

Enquiries should be directed to Mhairi Reid at mhairi.reid@lifechangestrust.org.uk or Catriona Kelly at catriona.kelly@lifechangestrust.org.uk or via the Public Contracts Scotland portal.

Value of the tender

The value of this tender is £100,000 over 17 months (inclusive of VAT).