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e are very pleased to introduce the fifth Annual Review of Relationships Scotland.

In the last year Relationships Scotland, in partnership with 22 Local Services across the country, has enabled around 20,000 people to receive relationship counselling, family mediation, child contact services and many other forms of related family support. These interventions have helped families cope with relationship problems, separation and divorce, helping to reduce conflict, improve communication and ensure that children are supported to manage changing family circumstances.




We are delighted to have been recently selected to be one of the Scottish Government’s new ‘Strategic Partners’. A total of £3.5m over 2 years has been invested by the government in the work of the Relationships Scotland Network, with vital funds being made available on an on-going basis for relationship counselling for the first time. This recognition by the Scottish Government of the value of our work is testament to the dedicated service of over 1,000 people, including around 400 volunteers, across all of mainland and island Scotland. The work of our network supports the Scottish Government’s vision for Scotland and is rooted in the fundamental principles of prevention and early intervention. We fully support the aspirations of the new National Parenting Strategy and

Relationships Scotland • Annual Review • 2013


The Early Years Framework. Our work operates within the guiding principles of Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) and also supports several of the 15 National Outcomes which underpin the Single Outcome Agreement between the Scottish Government and every Local Authority in Scotland. Research consistently shows the benefits that counselling, mediation and child contact offer to couples and families in crisis, especially regarding the outcomes for children. All areas of life improve where families can be helped to work together for the benefit of their children and thus reduce conflict, particularly in the areas of health, education and future relationship success.

C E hie




We would like to express our thanks to the 22 Local Services affiliated to Relationships Scotland who provide vital care and support to individuals, couples and families across the country. Through relationship counselling many relationships that might otherwise have broken down are surviving. Where separation does occur, the many problems associated with family breakdown can be reduced through family mediation, and around 2,000 children are able to maintain with their nonresident parent through a network of 45 Child Contact Centres. We would wish to thank everyone associated with Relationships Scotland for helping to make this happen. We would also like to pay particular thanks to the staff team at the Relationships Scotland National Office for their commitment to supporting our Local Services and the people they serve, and also to the National Board of Directors. Finally, we would again wish to thank the Scottish Government for its on-going support and we look forward to continuing to work together to enable our vision to become reality – Positive and Respectful Relationships at the Heart of Scotland.


Relationships Scotland • Annual Review • 2013




ice Overview


The NATIONAL OFFICE of Relationships Scotland supports a network of 22 affiliated Local Services covering all of mainland and island Scotland.


At one




thought there was no

with our marriage.

A ter attending f

couple counselling this has changed , we

are more happ now than ever - thank ou. y


Relationship Counselling client

Our National Office’s primary functions are to support the network of 22 Local Services, raise public awareness of the importance of family and relationship issues and to help influence the development of national and local policies to help support couples and families. The National Office offers: A single point of contact for the public to access relationship counselling, family mediation and child contact services across all of Scotland.

The only non-NHS Post Graduate Diploma in Psychosexual Therapy in Scotland, in partnership with the Relate Institute. A comprehensive programme of continuing professional development for counsellors and mediators.

Expert training for new relationship counsellors with our Diploma in Relationship Counselling (credit rated by Edinburgh Napier University) and for experienced counsellors wishing to develop skills in working with couples, our Certificate in Couple Counselling. Both courses are fully COSCA Validated.

Support for 45 Child Contact Centres which in turn provide a vital service to Scotland’s courts. National policies, procedures and guidelines. A quality assurance framework for all Local Services across Scotland.

The leading training course for Family Mediators in Scotland, academically credit rated by Edinburgh Napier University and professionally validated by the College of Mediators.

National policy briefings, a strong media presence and regular contributions to social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook.

HOW DO WE SUPPORT THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S VISION FOR SCOTLAND? With an emphasis on prevention and early intervention, The Early Years Framework (Scottish Government, 2008) seeks to ensure children have the best possible start in life. The Framework also highlights the need to provide parents and families with high quality services that will help them to develop their own solutions to the problems they may face in bringing up their children.

and the welfare of children, and the work of Relationships Scotland directly supports this aspiration. Our work also supports several of the 15 National Outcomes which underpin the Single Outcome Agreement between the Scottish Government and every local authority in Scotland. Research consistently shows the benefits that counselling, mediation and Child Contact Centres offer to couples and families in crisis, especially regarding the outcomes for children. All areas of life improve where families can be helped to work together for the benefit of their children and thus reduce conflict, particularly in the areas of health, education and future relationship success.

The new National Parenting Strategy (Scottish Government, 2012) aims “to help parents lay strong foundations for the loving, nurturing relationships that we know are integral to children’s emotional, physical, socio-economic and educational wellbeing”. The Scottish Government clearly recognises the causal link between strong parental relationships


Relationships Scotland • Annual Review • 2013



ey areas o



work during the year

The current running of the course began in September 2013 with over 25 students, demonstrating yet again how popular the diploma has become. The course recognises that working with couples requires additional skills to those needed for counselling individuals, and the additional complexity of working with two clients simultaneously makes the course a challenging and very worthwhile experience for our students.

Working with relationship issues is increasingly being recognised as a specialist skill and Relationships Scotland continues to be at the forefront of developing training to meet those needs.

RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLING “At one point I thought there was no hope with our marriage. After attending couple counselling this has changed, we are more happy now than ever – thank you.”

Interest in the Certificate in Couple Counselling remains high; again this is a COSCA Validated course offering a professional qualification in working with relationships. This course is for generic counsellors who wish to extend their skills, knowledge and practice in working with couples. In the year 2012 to 2013 we saw the completion of the taught part of the course with 10 counsellors in the third cohort and later in the year a further ten starting on the fourth delivery. This course combines 12 taught days alongside 100 hours of supervised, clinical practice.

Relationship Counselling client

This year saw the completion of the first running of the Diploma in Relationship Counselling. This is a new, fully accredited and COSCA Validated professional level training for relationship counsellors. Twelve counsellors from all over Scotland completed the course, and all now practice in our Local Services. This Diploma is the only one currently offered in Scotland that focuses on both individual and relationship counselling.


Relationships Scotland • Annual Review • 2013

Mediation gave me a sa e f

never actuall



to voice m f


concerns with m

been able to do that be ore as

Family Mediation client


was too



rightened o




his reaction.

Our foundation training course, the Certificate in Family Mediation (Accredited), comprises approximately 250 hours of learning over a period of 12 to 18 months. The combination of four training weekends, self-directed learning and practice experience equips mediators to work with high levels of conflict and emotion, to help parents to recognise their children’s needs and to develop strategies and plans for putting these needs first. Accredited mediators are eligible to join the Scottish Mediation Network Register. Fifteen trainees started this course in 2012, eight trainees from previous cohorts completed the course during 2012/13 and seven more continue with their studies.

Sexual difficulties are often related to difficulties around a couple’s wider intimacy; working with such issues is covered in all our counselling training. However, in some cases, couples or individuals experience specific sexual difficulties. Relationships Scotland has a team of specialist, qualified sex therapists who are all members of COSRT (College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists). They offer a service which covers most of the areas offering relationship counselling. In order to maintain and develop our team of sex therapists Relationships Scotland hosts the Relate Diploma in Psychosexual Therapy. This is a two year course which can also lead to Masters qualifications. The current course began in 2012 with eight people attending; six of these are currently practicing within our Local Services and two within the NHS offering the same service.

The second stage of training for mediators, the Certificate in Family Mediation (Registered), also comprises approximately 250 hours of learning and takes up to two years to complete. This course integrates learning from practice with further academic study and specialist training on a range of topics including advanced skills and alternative models and theories. Ten accredited mediators started this course in 2012/13, and joined a further four mediators who are continuing to progress through the course. Eight accredited mediators achieved Registration during 2012/13.

FAMILY MEDIATION “Mediation gave me a safe place to voice my concerns with my ex-partner. I had never actually been able to do that before as I was too frightened of his reaction.” Family Mediation client

Family mediators work with parents who have separated or who live apart to help them to improve communication and to work together to resolve conflict and to make arrangements for the future, particularly for their children. They also work with other family members to help resolve wider family conflict issues. Relationships Scotland is the main provider of training for family mediators in Scotland and the Certificate in Family Mediation is the only academically credit rated and professionally validated training course for family mediators in the UK. Relationships Scotland is approved by the Lord President of the Court of Session in Scotland to accredit mediators for the purposes of the Civil Evidence (Family Mediation) (Scotland) Act 1995. Relationships Scotland • Annual Review • 2013



SUPERVISION All practitioners working within Relationships Scotland are required to meet our requirements for supervision and those of their professional bodies. Supervision is a key aspect linked to both client safety and practitioner development. Supervising counsellors working with couples is a specialised area of work and Relationships Scotland offers a Diploma in Supervision which includes supervising couple counsellors. In 2012 we again ran our Diploma in Supervision with seven people registered. The Certificate in Mediator Supervision


Thoroughl f



enjo ed the da


CPD attendee


- ver

y f


- lots

reeing as a


or thought and


was delivered with six students who have now progressed to undertake the practice element of the course and to submit their assessments.

the separation or divorce process, to gain a better understanding of what their children need from them and to work out how to make living apart less stressful for everyone. Relationships Scotland’s Parenting Apart Groups are single session, three hour workshops where information is provided and questions can be asked. These groups are currently available in a few areas in Scotland and we continue to seek funding to be able to offer them nationally.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT “Thoroughly enjoyed the day – lots for thought and for practice – very freeing as a practitioner.” CPD attendee

Ensuring that all our practitioners maintain their levels of expertise and keep up to date on professional development issues is a key priority for Relationships Scotland. We run an extensive and wide ranging continuing professional development (CPD) programme which enables practitioners to both extend and develop their skills and knowledge. In 2012/13 fourteen CPD events were organised for 224 participants. We maintain a register of practitioners who meet the annual requirements for CPD, supervision and practice hours. We support nearly 200 family mediators and relationship counsellors working or training to work within our network.

QUALITY ASSURANCE AUDITS OF LOCAL SERVICES All 22 Services completed Relationships Scotland quality assurance process that took place on a rolling basis between 2012 and 2013. All 45 Child Contact Centres will also have been audited by October 2013. The process has been updated after consultation with all Services and the next round of audits has begun. The National Office is able to provide any support and information required to enable all Local Services to participate in the learning that emanates from the quality assurance process and good practice is continually being developed and shared across the network.

PARENTING APART GROUPS It can be helpful for parents to meet with other separated parents to find out how best to manage


Relationships Scotland • Annual Review • 2013


only needed a


ew contact sessions to rekindle an already strong bond with my daughter.

We were alwa s made to y

Child Contact Centre user


eel welcome at the



weekly column in Scotland on Sunday has provided us with a meaningful weekly presence in a well respected broadsheet newspaper.

There are currently 44 Child Contact Centres affiliated to Relationships Scotland, with 37 offering both Supported Contact and Supervised Contact, six offering Supported Contact only and one offering Supervised Contact only. Two short films explaining and demonstrating these two types of services can be viewed on the Relationships Scotland website and YouTube.



It has proved difficult to progress with a national database that can be used by all Services. One of the Services has been piloting a database that has been under construction over the past few years, but the timescales and cost involved in a potential roll-out has meant a decision not to progress on a national scale was made by the Network Services Committee. Other options may be looked at in the future. Ongoing support is provided to Local Services to ensure that their statistical returns are accurate.

All national policies are reviewed at least every three years and more often if there are changes in legislation or other issues that require updates to be made. Over the year the Confidentiality, Complaints and Child Protection policies have been updated. These ensure consistency in approach and standards across the network. New policies are introduced as required. This year a Client Access to Information policy was produced to assist Services when a request is made and an Anti-harassment and Violence policy and procedures to protect staff and volunteers at work is in the process of consultation.

THE MEASUREMENT OF OUTCOMES The outcomes measurement forms were not adopted by all Services in 2012-13, but those that participated enabled an analysis to be done demonstrating the benefit of work undertaken round the country. Due to the new funding structure, all Services will be required to participate in 2013-14. The forms have been amended and further consultation is required to improve them further. Work has begun on producing forms for the Child Contact Centres with the aim of introducing these for use from April 2014.

Relationships Scotland • Annual Review • 2013

CHILD CONTACT CENTRES “I only needed a few contact sessions to rekindle an already strong bond with my daughter. We were always made to feel welcome at the Centre.” Child Contact Centre user

Child contact centres help children maintain relationships with non-resident parents and other significant family members by providing a safe, friendly, impartial environment for them to meet.


Our Head of Public Affairs, Gay Hickey, retired in late 2012 – we wish her all the best for the future. Gay’s work is being picked up by our Digital Media Manager, Ross McCulloch, until we recruit a new Head of Communications in mid 2013.

All affiliated Child Contact Centres adhere to the same Scottish Code of Practice, Policies and Practice Procedures. A Quality Assurance Framework is in place to ensure that each Child Contact Centre is working to the same high standards of service delivery. Support, training and guidance from the National Office of Relationships Scotland can be accessed by practitioners.

WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA Our digital media presence continues to grow with our Digital Media Manager now working one day per week plus enthusiastic and dedicated input from our team of social media volunteers. These developments are helping to bring the work of Relationships Scotland to an ever wider audience and this will be built upon in the coming months and years.

A child-friendly booklet, Going to a Child Contact Centre, is available to all children attending Child Contact Centres so they can better understand what will take place at the centre. The booklet has a special page for children to write their name and draw about their own personal experience of using a centre. An animated version of the booklet is available to view on the Relationships Scotland website and YouTube.

Our website provides a vibrant and interactive method for engaging with the public, professionals and Local Services across the country. The website has also continued to develop, now offering the opportunity for trainees to view and book our wide range of CPD courses online. We continue to use our blog to connect with the general public in a more engaging manner – with regular posts from a range of bloggers including Local Service staff, our Chief Executive and ‘ordinary’ Scottish people blogging about family life and relationships. This is coupled with our use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to ensure we reach more people than ever before.

Referrer cards are available to agencies referring their clients to a Child Contact Centre. The card is a helpful reminder about important information they need to remember when referring their clients for contact.

PRESS LIAISON AND PUBLICITY Relationships Scotland has continued to build its profile in the Scottish media and is now one of the key agencies trusted by journalists and broadcasters to provide comment on issues affecting family life and relationships, including marriage, separation, divorce and the ongoing care of children. Our


Relationships Scotland • Annual Review • 2013




atron, board + sta

PATRON Elaine C Smith

DIRECTORS The directors who served during the year are as follows: Chair Peter Gunnell (until 26 Sep 2012) Chair Pamela Gordon (from 26 Sep 2012) Vice Chair Pamela Gordon (until 26 Sep 2012) Vice Chair Ewan Gillon (from 21 Nov 2012) Treasurer John Smith John Hawkins Cath Karlin Mike O’Donnell (from 20 Feb 2013) Fiona Robertson (until Sep 2012) CLIENT CONTACT:


Gerry Rooney

CHIEF EXECUTIVE & COMPANY SECRETARY Stuart Valentine REGISTERED OFFICE 18 York Place Edinburgh EH1 3EP AUDITORS Chiene + Tait Chartered Accountants & Registered Auditors 61 Dublin Street Edinburgh  Eh3 6Nl BANKERS Bank of Scotland 38 St Andrew Square Edinburgh  EH2 2YR CAF Bank Limited 25 Kings Hill Avenue Kings Mill West Mailing Kent  ME19 4JZ

STAFF Head of Corporate Services Mike Reid

Supervision and CPD Development Manager Pam Richmond (until 6 Sep 2012)

Joint Heads of Professional Practice Rosanne Cubitt (Mediation)

Supervision and CPD Manager Mhairi Canning (from 5 Nov 2012)

Anne Chilton (Counselling)

Office Manager Janet Smith

Joint Heads of Network Services Heather Lickley

Professional Practice Administrators Alice Still

Sue Maxwell

Alison Fraser

Head of Public Affairs

Diana Reilly

Gay Hickey (until 31 Dec 2012)

Child Contact Centre Administrator Karen Bell

Course Directors (Counselling Diploma) Hilary Rogers Prentice Smy Course Director (Mediation) Sonia Bruce

Scottish Widows Bank 67 Morrison Street Edinburgh  EH3 8YJ

Course Director (Counselling Certificate) Elizabeth Walsh (until 22 Jan 2013)

Jim Shepherd Mike Shire (until 23 Nov 2012) Jim Stephen


Corporate Services Financial Administrator Sera B Koukpaki Network Services & Public Affairs Administrator Jackie Turner Digital Media Manager Ross McCulloch

Child Contact Centre Development Officer Charlene Kelly

Joanna Quinney (from Sep 2012) Robin Waterston (from 26 Sep 2012) Barbara Wright

Relationships Scotland • Annual Review • 2013



Relationships Scotland • Annual Review • 2013





The Scottish Government

We would like to thank all 1,000 staff and volunteers across the Relationships Scotland network who support thousands of Scottish couples, families and young people.

The Big Lottery Fund The Tudor Trust

We would also like to thank our team of social media volunteers:

The Dulverton Trust Parenting Across Scotland

Janis McCulloch

The Robertson Trust

Lawson Auden Lynsey Rogers Maureen Smyth Irfan Ahmad Christina Stephen

Annual Accounts are available from 18 York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EP


Relationships Scotland, 18 York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EP 0845 119 2020



/Relationships Scotland

Company Registered in Scotland SC297368  Scottish Charity Number SCO38683

Relationships Scotland Annual Review 2013  
Relationships Scotland Annual Review 2013  

Relationships Scotland provide relationship counselling, mediation and family support services across the country. Our 2013 Annual Review fo...