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Annual Review • 2011

1 Annual Review


& Chief Executive’s


We are very pleased to introduce the third Annual Review of Relationships Scotland. In the last year Relationships Scotland, in partnership with 22 local services across the country, has enabled over 20,000 people to receive relationship counselling, family mediation, child contact services and many other forms of related family support.


he work of our network supports the Scottish Government’s vision for Scotland and is rooted in the fundamental principles of prevention and early intervention. Research clearly shows the positive impact of targeted relationship support on the lives of families and its role in the prevention of future problems. In Scotland today couples and families continue to face many challenges. The ongoing economic crisis has placed many families under significant pressure and this frequently affects the quality of family life and can lead to relationship strain and in some cases family breakdown. Family life in Scotland has also never been more diverse – more people are likely to live together rather than marry, new civil partnerships are being formed, more children are born outside of marriage than within, people are divorcing earlier and more

Stuart Valentine Chief Executive


Annual Review • 2011

FOREWORD step-families are being formed. Such changes make it more important than ever that people in Scotland can access a wide range of support to ensure that their families can have the best quality of life and relationships possible. Across the country 22 local services affiliated to Relationships Scotland provide a high standard of care and support to individuals, couples and families. 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 hundreds of children are able to maintain contact with their non-resident parent through a network of 45 child contact centres.

Peter Gunnell Chair

We would like to pay particular thanks to the staff team at the National Office for their commitment to supporting our local services and the people they serve, and also to the National Board who give their time to oversee the running of the National Office.

This work does of course require financial support. Both the Scottish Government and local authorities across Scotland provide financial assistance, as do many charitable trusts. It is very important that this support is maintained and built upon to ensure that families across all of Scotland can continue to access these vital support services.

Finally we would wish to thank the Scottish Government for its ongoing support and we look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that we have a Scotland that cares, nurtures and supports families and their children.

Across the Relationships Scotland network over 900 staff and volunteers are directly involved in providing support to over 20,000 clients each year, including over 4,000 children. We would wish to thank everyone associated with Relationships Scotland for helping to make this happen.

Stuart Valentine Chief Executive



Peter Gunnell Chair


The National Office of Relationships Scotland supports a network of 22 affiliated local services covering all of mainland and island Scotland. The Key Functions of the National Office

How do we Support the Scottish Government’s Vision for Scotland?

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:

With an emphasis on prevention and early intervention, The Early Years Framework (Scottish Government, 2008) seeks to ensure that 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.

A single point of contact for the public to access relationship counselling, family mediation and child contact services across all of Scotland

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 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.

Expert training for new relationship counsellors and supervisors, including Diploma in Relationship Counselling, Certificate in Couple Counselling and Diploma in Casework Supervision The only voluntary sector training course for Family Mediators in 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, psychosexual therapists, mediators and supervisors 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 National policy briefings, a strong media presence and regular contributions to social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook


Annual Review • 2011

KEY AREAS OF WORK DURING THE YEAR Training Relationship Counsellors Diploma in Relationship Counselling Our current Diploma in Relationship Counselling is now in its second year with 13 students. Students who have met the academic requirements of the course and have been judged ready to practice have begun counselling in local service placements throughout Scotland. The diploma has doubled in size since its last running and now has a total of 400 taught hours, delivered over 25 training weekends, with an additional 200 hours of supervised counselling practice. The course, comprising six modules, is credit-rated by Edinburgh Napier University at SCQF level 9, with each module carrying 20 transferable credits. External students are welcomed and given support to find suitable couple counselling placements in other agencies, although placements within our own network are subsidised to encourage recruitment for local services. At present, this is the only diploma in Scotland specialising in relationship counselling. The diploma has achieved Initial Validation with COSCA and anticipates achieving Full Validation at the end of its first delivery in 2013. 27 students from the previous Diploma in Couple Counselling are continuing to work towards their Registration with Relationships Scotland.


of any kind. This system enables the organisation to ensure that people are offered the best possible services for their difficulties. ACCEPT Scheme The ACCEPT Scheme has been used for many years as an alternative route into the organisation for generic counsellors without couple work experience who would prefer an in-house mentoring process to develop their skills and knowledge base around counselling couples. Over the past year the scheme has been revised and reassessed to bring it into line with the standards required by the COSCA-validated Certificate in Couple Counselling. There are currently around six people at various stages on the scheme. Successful completion leads to a Certificate in Couple Work and Registration with Relationships Scotland.

Certificate in Couple Counselling The Certificate in Couple Counselling is a short ‘conversion course’ in couple work which enables generic counsellors to become couple counsellors. This course has proved to be a very popular course. It is very practice-based, with a high requirement of 120 hours of couple work. The actual face-toface teaching takes place over an intensive 12 days and is spread over ten months to allow the maximum time for the integration of theory and practice.

Training new Supervisors Supervision of counsellors and mediators underpins the safety and quality of practice across Scotland. The fourth delivery of our COSCA accredited Supervision Diploma for counsellors is now under way, with ten students on the course. The training course for mediators to work as supervisors has been re-written and enhanced, and final submissions from the first four students to undertake this new training are due in autumn 2011.

The Certificate is now into its second delivery, with 13 students and demand is high for the next course, which is due to start in January 2012. This course has also achieved COSCA Validation.

Six supervisors completed a supervision course in Sexual and Relationship Therapy Supervision in 2011. Five of these supervisors continue to offer supervision for the Relationships Scotland Network.

Risk Assessment Training The rolling programme of training all counsellors in our risk assessment procedures is now nearing completion. This has been a major piece of work which has involved all couple counselling services at both procedural and clinical levels.

Regulation of Counselling In February this year the statutory Regulation of Counselling was replaced by voluntary regulation, via the accreditation of existing professional registers by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE). This has left Relationships Scotland in the fortunate position of still having the Counsellor Membership route onto COSCA’s

Counsellors are now trained to offer individual sessions to couples if any risk factors are identified in the couple work, whether these are related to addictions, mental health and wellbeing or abuse


Annual Review • 2011

Annual Renewal and Registration of Couple Counsellors and Family Mediators

professional register for the main body of our qualified couple counsellors who are not already accredited with COSCA or BACP. This route was established in negotiation with COSCA and other voluntary agencies in 2009 and is comparable to Relate’s route into BACP in England.

Relationships Scotland maintains formal Registers of both couple counsellors and family mediators. The annual renewal process ensures that minimum practice standards are met by all of our qualified practitioners.

We also have a route through for our sexual and relationship therapists via accreditation with the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT, previously BASRT).

Each year practitioners submit annual renewal forms detailing the amount of supervision, CPD and practice hours they have undertaken, and providing they have met the minimum standards, they are placed on the respective Registers and receive a Certificate of Registration.

Training new Family Mediators Relationships Scotland is the key provider of training for family mediators in Scotland. Our foundation training course, the Certificate in Family Mediation (Accredited), takes approximately 250 hours and between 12 to 18 months to complete and equips trainees to practice in our local services. Accredited mediators are eligible to join the Scottish Mediation Network Register of mediators.

Work is under way to provide similar Registration procedures for other practitioners, such as supervisors, sex therapists, and children and young people’s counsellors.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

We are currently developing the second stage in our training of family mediators, the Registration process. We intend in the near future to submit both of these stages of training for academic credit rating through Napier University and for professional validation to the College of Mediators. During 2010/11, eleven trainees started on the CFM (A), with five trainee mediators achieving Accreditation and ten Accredited mediators achieving Registration.

CPD is a vital part of counsellors’ and mediators’ ongoing training and development. All counsellors and mediators are required to attend at least one formal CPD event each year. Relationships Scotland runs a comprehensive programme of CPD events, with specialised events for counsellors, mediators, sex therapists and supervisors. All of our events are open to external participants. Supervisor Forums are held annually for both counselling and mediator supervisors. In addition we are able to offer some events to support the development of new initiatives in our local services, such as running Parenting Apart Groups, Direct Consultation with Children, Risk Assessment training, and Working with Domestic Conflict.


Training new Psychosexual Therapists

Parenting Apart Groups These are single session, three hour workshops for parents to find out how best to support their children through the divorce and separation process, to ensure positive outcomes. Groups are currently available in South Lanarkshire and in Glasgow, the latter in partnership with Families Need Fathers, supported by Parenting Across Scotland.

We have successfully hosted the Relate Institute Post Graduate Diploma in Psychosexual Therapy. Ten students participated in the course in 2011. There is still a demand for new Sexual and Relationship Therapists in Scotland so we are currently in discussions with Relate with a view to running the next Post Graduate Diploma in 2012.

We continue to seek funding to provide these groups across Scotland.

Quality Assurance Audits of Local Services

Child Contact Centres Child contact centres help children and parents by providing a safe, friendly, neutral environment for them to meet away from high-conflict situations during separation or divorce. There are currently 45 child contact centres affiliated to Relationships Scotland, with 42 offering Supported Contact and 38 offering Supervised Contact. Two short films explaining and demonstrating these two types of services can be viewed from our website.

A rolling programme of quality assurance audits of local services is ongoing. So far 13 local services have completed the new process and been quality assured for a period of three years. The National Office is able to provide the 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.

All child contact centres adhere to the same Scottish Code of Practice and can access support and guidance from the national office of Relationships Scotland. A Quality Assurance Framework is now in operation to ensure that each accredited child contact centre is working to the same high standards of service delivery.

Development of National Statistics We are still working on the development of a single national database that will hopefully result in all local services being able to more accurately monitor and record the vital work that they do. Ongoing support is provided to local services to ensure that their statistical returns are accurate and additional support is being provided to five local services that use Excel.

A child-friendly booklet was recently written so that children can better understand what will take place when they attend a child contact centre. The booklet is given to every child and has a special page for the child to write and draw about their own experiences when using a centre.

The Measurement of Outcomes Following consultation with all local services we have recently developed two new measuring outcomes processes, one for relationship counselling and one for family mediation. These new processes are currently being piloted with a view to their being rolled-out to the whole network in 2012.


Annual Review • 2011

Relationship Support Work in Prisons

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.

The National Office in partnership with Relationships Scotland – Couple Counselling Glasgow has completed several relationship support courses over the last three years in HMP Barlinnie with prisoners and their partners.

Liaison with other Partner Agencies Our Chief Executive sits on the board of both COSCA and the Scottish Mediation Network and on the Steering Group of Parenting Across Scotland.

In 2010-2011 the Positive Relationships Programme was developed in collaboration with the Scottish Prison Service. A further roll-out of the pilot to two other prisons is planned in the near future to HMP Greenock and HMP Addiewell.

He also meets regularly with our sister organisation Relate and with the lead officers of other national counselling agencies from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to discuss recent developments and best practice in relationship counselling.

Another relationship support course will also be run in HMP Barlinnie soon.

Relationships Scotland is an organisational member of both COSCA and BACP and receives regular updates from COSRT and UKCP. We are currently in discussion with the Family Mediation Council in England with a view to becoming Associate Members in the near future.

This work is being funded by Roots Out Of Prison (ROOP) and is supported by Families Outside.

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. We continue to have a weekly column in Scotland on Sunday and a regular presence in all of the main Scottish newspapers and radio stations. A new website will soon be launched and this will provide a more vibrant and interactive method for engaging with the public and local services across the country. This past year has also seen the development of a number of short films that highlight key areas of our work, and a new film on relationships counselling will soon be completed. All of these films have been added to You Tube and are seen by over 500 people each month. We have a new Digital Media Manager in post and have recruited a team of talented volunteers to support our work through the use of social media, including Twitter and Facebook. These developments



Chief Executive and Company Secretary

Elaine C Smith

Stuart Valentine


Registered O∞ce

The directors who served during the year are as follows:

18 York Place Edinburgh EH1 3EP

Chair Lord Wallace of Tankerness (resigned 14 May 2010)


Chair Peter Gunnell (appointed 28 May 2010)

Chiene + Tait Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors 61 Dublin Street EDINBURGH EH3 6NL

Treasurer John Smith Vice Chair Elizabeth Batey Margaret Cairney (resigned 27 August 2010)

Bankers Bank of Scotland CAF Bank Ltd Unity Trust

Ewan Gillon John Hawkins Kathy Hubbard Mike Shire Jenny Tidey (resigned 27 August 2010) Sheena Webster (resigned 28 May 2010) Barbara Wright


Annual Review • 2011

Staff Head of Corporate Services Mike Reid

Supervision and CPD Development Manager Pam Richmond

Joint Heads of Professional Practice Rosanne Cubitt (Mediation) Helen Weston (Counselling)

Office Manager Janet Smith

Joint Heads of Network Services Heather Lickley Sue Maxwell

Professional Practice Administrators Alice Still Alison Fraser Diana Reilly

Head of Public A≠airs Gay Hickey

Child Contact Centre Administrator Karen Bell

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

Corporate Services Financial Administrator Tracy McIlwraith (until 2 December 2010)

Professional Practice Consultant Anne Chilton

Joanne Smith (from 14 March 2011) Network Services and Public A≠airs Administrator Jackie Turner

Child Contact Centre Development Officer Charlene Kelly

Receptionist Graeme Hutchinson (until 10 September 2010)


THANKS For ďŹ nancial support:

For other support:

The Scottish Government

Derek Lambie

The Big Lottery Fund

Craig Sampson

The Tudor Trust

Anne Dick

The Dulverton Trust

Sheriff Ray Small

The Souter Charitable Trust


Parenting Across Scotland

HBJ Gateley Wareing Holly June Smith Gordon Laing Nicola Henderson

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

Contact us

Relationships Scotland, 18 York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EP Telephone: 0845 119 2020 E-mail: Company Registered in Scotland SC297368  Scottish Charity Number SCO38683

Relationships Scotland Annual Review 2011  

We are very pleased to introduce the third Annual Review of Relationships Scotland. In the last year Relationships Scotland, in partnership...

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