September 2023 Fellow's update: Tracey Francis

September 2023 Fellow's update: Tracey Francis

Project Manager Tracey Francis' (CF 2015) Fellowship project focusing on preparing school-leavers with learning difficulties for higher education, employment or supported living. She recently gave us an update on the doors which her Fellowship have opened for her and how she is building on opportunities she has been given.

Tracey was invited with colleagues to give evidence before the cross-party Education, Children and Young People Committee in the Scottish Parliament on the experiences of this group in Scotland, and our views on how best to address the long standing difficulties around support for young people, families and professionals during this time in a young person's life.

During the last two years, she co-led a project developing and testing Scotland's first national improvement framework for transitions to adulthood. This was launched in June and is now available to all Scottish local authority areas to support professionals from all sectors to assess and improve their practice in this area.

As part of the project, she co-led the development and launch of Compass, a pioneering set of digital tools to support planning. Compass helps everyone involved understand the transitions process better, and find relevant information at the right time for them. Each of the three versions - for young people, parents and carers, and professionals - let the user create individual to-do lists tailored to their own circumstances, and help young people and their parents play a more active part in discussions and decisions that affect their lives.

Tracey wrote a blog about these projects for the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities. She is now a member of the strategic working group developing Scotland's first National Transitions Strategy, and supporting a group of parents and carers of young disabled people to take part in the discussions around the Strategy and what it needs to contain.

In October Tracey will undertake a study visit to Finland, building on work during her Fellowship, to make connections with Finnish colleagues and service providers. She will present on her transitions work to groups within the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, the Häme University of Applied Sciences and a range of other colleges, service providers and NGOs, as well as exploring some of the innovations around inclusion and mental health support being pioneered in Finland.


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