When we first started, we estimated that about 12 people per month would register with us. In fact, the figure has averaged about 35 per month. Up to the end of 2019, a total of 1,289 had registered.
1,289 people have registered with us and 98% of people who contacted us were eligible for the service.
The proportion of people who hear about us from a word of mouth recommendation has greatly increased since we started from 4% to 31% in three years.
People appreciate the quick and easy registration process. Taking time to develop trust is vital, with some reporting that they may feel undeserving of support at first and may need time before expressing their needs.
We will work with anyone who experienced childhood abuse or neglect in care in Scotland, wherever they live now. We have made extra efforts to reach people outside the Central Belt.
18% of those who have registered with us are aged over 65.
We have encouraged older people to register with us. We have assigned two of our Support Coordinators to work only with people aged over 65. And we’ve streamlined our referral processes for people in that age group.
It is impossible to be sure, because we cannot monitor how many people could be contacting us but are not doing so. It is also possible that some people who have registered with us have a learning disability but chose not to tell us. However, we do know that people with learning disabilities may be affected by childhood abuse or neglect in care – yet the number of people with learning disabilities that have registered with us seems to be relatively low.
Reaching these people may require different approaches, and we recognise we have more work to do in this area.
In July 2019 we launched an improved website, having changed both the design and the words in line with feedback from our staff and from people registered with us. In the next three months, registrations via the website went up by 150% compared to one year earlier.
Between July and December 2019, we also saw a 150% increase in the number of people signing up for our monthly newsletter.
Not everyone who works with Future Pathways tells us what it was like for them, but when people do it is usually positive.
“The Support Coordinator made me feel comfortable. I appreciated the kindness and the approach of the worker.”
“She didn’t judge me. She already ken. I never once needed to pretend. It’s the first time I’ve had that. I didn’t have to even say what happened to me.”
“[The Support Coordinator] has changed my life. Quite a few phone calls. I’ve gained so much confidence.”
So, we created an ‘Information Pack’ for people who are registered with us. It is too soon to say for sure how well it is working, but early feedback is that it has helped newly registered people to understand what Future Pathways can offer.
As Future Pathways has grown and developed, we have used different methods to gather the views and insights of everyone who wants to help us.
From 2017 to 2019 we had an Advisory Group, which helped us introduce many improvements. We then held engagement events across Scotland to help us find out what worked well and what could be improved upon; people told us that these were useful and that they wanted them to happen more often. W We’re now looking at new ways to encourage people to share their views. The most
popular methods are calling our freephone number or speaking directly to a member of staff. As we continue to grow, we hope to get input from a wider range of people.