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Housing - the missing piece of the jigsaw?

This one-day Shelter conference, held in Edinburgh on 30 March 2010, explored the latest policy developments across all services which interact with homeless and badly housed children and young people.

Morning plenary session

Maggie Mellon, Consultant and Chair of the Scottish Child Law Centre Board, chaired the event and the first plenary session provided a picture of how many children are affected by poor quality and unsuitable housing and highlighted the central role housing plays in improving outcomes for children. Alison Watson, Head of Services at Shelter Scotland, gave the first presentation, launching Shelter's report 'The facts: bad housing and homelessness for children and young people in Scotland 2010' and talking about how Shelter is working to tackle the issues faced by homeless children and young people.

Alison was followed by Robin McKendrick, Policy Team Leader at the Scottish Government. He focused on the Government's Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) approach and, in particular how it relates to meeting the needs of children in poor quality and unsuitable housing. The next presentation was given by Tam Baillie, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People, who talked about the importance of listening to children and young people affected by poor housing and how to make sure their views are heard.


The facts:bad housing and homelessness for children and young people in Scotland
Alison Watson, Head of Services, Shelter Scotland

Download Shelter Scotland's report 'The facts: bad housing and homelessness for children and young people in Scotland 2010'.

Getting it right for every child
Robin McKendrick, Policy Team Leader, Scottish Government

Find out further information about GIRFEC.

Listening to children and young people
Tam Baillie, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People

Morning workshop sessions

Delegates were given a choice of three workshops as follows:

Homelessness as an additional support need for learning
Lilian Miller and Leeann Curran, Shelter Scotland

A local authority's perspective on Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) and housing
Val Holtom, South Lanarkshire Council

The value of support for young people
Susan Aktemel and Fiona Doring, Impact Arts

Afternoon plenary session

The afternoon presentations looked ahead at what the future holds for children and young people who are homeless. The session began with the screening of an animation DVD 'What is a home?' produced by children and young people helped by Shelter Support Service, South Lanarkshire.

This was followed by a presentation from Douglas Hamilton, Head of Save the Children in Scotland, who focused on recent developments in relation to eradicating child poverty by 2020 and the part that tackling housing problems can play in this. Dr Phil Robinson, Chief Executive of Quarriers, emphasised the importance of support for young homeless people and his presentation included a DVD called ‘Condemned’ produced by young people from Quarriers' Voices In Projects (VIP) Group.


View the video What is a Home?

Eradicating child poverty by 2020
Douglas Hamilton, Head of Save the Children in Scotland

Support for young homeless people
Dr Phil Robinson, Chief Executive, Quarriers

View the video Condemned.

Afternoon Workshop Sessions

There were three options for delegates to select from as follows:

Making peer prevention work to reduce youth homelessness
Jo Jarvis and volunteers, Move On

Temporary accommodation standards for families and young people
Jessie Crawford, Shelter Scotland

'Our Charter' made by young people for young people facing homelessness
Laura Sharpe, Mandy Morrison, Amanda Burns and young people from Quarriers VIP Group

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