Pathfinder Update and Glasgow Helps

Kathleen Caskie secondment with Child Poverty Pathfinder team, developing Glasgow Helps

Embracing a move towards citywide approaches and bringing city partners together to work towards wholescale system change, Kathleen Caskie of GCVS hosted-project Glasgow Third Sector Interface Network (GTSIN) is now on secondment working with multi-agency Child Poverty Pathfinder team.

GTSIN’s role is to help develop and support representation and other links between the third sector and public sector partners in Glasgow, and Kathleen’s role with the Pathfinder team will be similar, helping to develop the third sector’s role in both the Pathfinder and with the Glasgow Helps service.

Tackling Child Poverty in Glasgow

The scale of the challenge to reduce child poverty in Glasgow is vast. In 2018, Scottish Government released targets to reduce relative child poverty in Scotland to less than 18% by 2023, and less than 10% by 2030. For the same year, statistics stated that in Glasgow 34% of children (36,106) were living in relative poverty, and this was before the huge impact of the pandemic and cost of living crisis, deepening existing levels and pushing more of our children and families into poverty. To meet these targets, and to support our citizens in these challenging times, there is a shared recognition of the need for bold action and whole system change.  City partners have therefore come together for the Child Poverty Pathfinder to test new, bold ways of working, and to challenge the barriers that limit the impact of existing services and support. Through the Pathfinder these barriers have been identified as; Data and Eligibility, Funding and Commissioning, and Accountability and Culture, and an early approach and opportunity to deliver impact has been identified through the delivery of a No Wrong Door model.

Developing the Pathfinder; No Wrong Door

The No Wrong Door model recognises that services can’t be everything to everyone, and nor should they – but that a model with links throughout the whole system and the ability to navigate its broad network of support for citizens, connecting people with what they need and when, is crucial. In line with this, the Pathfinder seeks to demonstrate whole system, citywide transformation.  It will exemplify the importance of a landscape with an integrated, accessible system of services that can connect citizens to person-centred support, regardless of where and how they engage with services. To accomplish this the Pathfinder team will work with the Glasgow Helps service to explore how this could operate ‘at scale’ and will develop both specific and proactive means of targeting children and families in or at risk of poverty.

Glasgow Helps Logo

What is Glasgow Helps?

Glasgow Helps has been developed as a direct result of the partnership working between GCVS and GCC throughout the pandemic to support vulnerable citizens. It provides free, person-centred support, using ‘holistic conversations’ to develop a shared understanding of ‘what matters to you’ – based on needs, capabilities, and aspirations, and works with the citizen to agree the best next steps and services for them. Using partnership arrangements across an ever-growing network of organisations and services it provides a place to which the ‘network of doors’ can refer. Through this network, Glasgow Helps can secure support on a wide range of issues, including income maximisation, food and utilities, employability, physical and mental health, and housing and homelessness. As such, Glasgow Helps can assist with the immediate issues our citizens are facing, alongside having case managers who work with people to agree personalised plans to prevent ongoing need and support long term resilience.

Kathleen is keen to talk to organisations who may be interested in the Glasgow Helps service and what it can offer, and those who are playing a key role in tackling child poverty in the city. Contact her on Kathleen.Caskie@GCVS.org.uk

Ania Neisser (Ania.Neisser@GCVS.org.uk) will continue to maintain and develop GTSIN’s work at GCVS.

Glasgow Helps information sessions will take place in early 2023 – dates to be confirmed.

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