Future Pathways is a ground breaking Alliance operating across Scotland and beyond, demonstrating how collaboration can help change people's lives. LH Alliances supported the formation and implementation of the Alliance.
The Scottish Government set up an alliance to support adult survivors of in-care child sexual abuse. Initially the Scottish Government considered a consortium when it was retendering the support it commissions for survivors. By mutual agreement with the chosen consortium, this was changed to an alliance, bringing a stronger sense of collective shared responsibility.
The Future Pathways Alliance operates across all of Scotland and beyond. It supports people who were abused or neglected as children while they were living in care in Scotland. Wherever people live now, in Scotland or anywhere in the world, people can make contact and receive advice, assessment and support.
Alongside the Scottish Government, there are three charity providers, Health in Mind, Penumbra and the mental health Foundation and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. These are all collective responsible for leading and co-ordinating support and for the total funding allocation.
The three charities each take a different role and one does most of the delivery. Another took on the role of subcontracting the many other parties needed to provide services across the whole of Scotland.
Part of the funding is earmarked as a discretionary fund, to be used for specific support for a person following a conversation with one of the support co-ordinators. The support co-ordinator can make decisions on funds of up to £1,000 and oversight and higher value decisions are made by a panel of senior members of the alliance. The discretionary fund is highly valued by people.
The Alliance provides the co-ordination and support direct to people as well as arranging purchased support and services from a range of other providers in Scotland. There are some unique elements to this Alliance which have greatly added to the learning and experience and learning of applying alliancing to the UK public sector.
The Future Pathways Alliance went live in summer 2016.
When the Alliance was set up, there were 150 people known to the existing service. Estimates were made for about double this. In fact, since Future Pathways started nearly 1,100 people have registered and growing numbers of people are saying how important and valued this work is.
A key message from a scoping study undertaken in 2018 was that the experience of a positive relationship seemed more transformative than resources. The resources are, of course, important but how they are offered is even more so.
People are commenting that it feels like ‘finally people are listening and understanding’ and team members observe ‘there is a sense that other professionals are less apt to misjudge distress as difficult behaviour’.
Full reports on progress against the outcomes set for the Alliance are available at https://future-pathways.co.uk
LH Alliances was engaged by the Scottish Government after the alliance members were chosen. We worked alongside the commissioning team and the provider members of the Alliance to facilitate new relationships and ways of working between all parties. We advised on the new governance arrangements as well as assisting with the Alliance Agreement.
We are proud to have played a part in setting up this first alliance contract in Scotland. It has proven to an innovative alliance, especially around subcontracting and delegated financial decision making.