Parenting across Scotland - out and about!

As part of starting our work together, one thing that is high on Amy’s and my agenda is to make sure we go out and about at least once a month to visit other organisations and charities.

The aim of these meetings is not only to introduce ourselves and Parenting across Scotland to others, but to build relationships and ensure we are engaging with a wide range of organisations to ensure we are collecting information of what issues organisations are facing and those in parenting roles.

We know 'parenting' comes in many forms - from biological parents, carers, kinship carers, fostering and adopting and so on. And within this, different groups of parent-carers - from young parent-carers, single parent-carers, those supporting children with disabilities, Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) parent-carers, refugee and asylum parent-carers to mention a few! All are affected by issues in different ways. Therefore, it is so important for us to ensure we are listening to the voices and learning from the lived experiences of a diverse range of parent-carers within Scotland.

For our first 'out and about' visit, we visited Multi-Cultural Family Base (MCFB) in Leith. We met with Hannah Kearns who is the Project Lead of the 8+ project. She gave us an insight to the immense variety of work that Multi-Cultural Family Base does and the challenges that they and the parent-carers they work with are facing.

MCFB works with children and families who are experiencing difficulties – with many of their service users being from BAME groups, including migrants. The organisation operates within Edinburgh and provides a range of services which individuals and families can be referred to or self-refer. These cover a wide variety of topics from antenatal support, to young refugees affects by trauma, to difficulties with transitions -whether it is from primary to secondary, or moving to Edinburgh, or those who are survivors of female genital mutilation and honour base violence.

Hand-written chart of the different projects within MCFB

We heard from Hannah that some of the main issues facing those in parenting roles which MCFB support included:

  • Navigating systems which are not accessible for those who don’t speak English
  • Lack of translated documents and interpreters in Scotland
  • Legal frameworks - e.g. for asylum seekers and refugees
  • Poverty, racism and discrimination
  • Lack of provision and services

Being a trusted source of support to navigate these issues is clearly very important to MCFB. We heard of families who had stayed with the service for many years, with multiple generations receiving support. However, capacity is an issue and some of the MCFB services operate waiting lists. MCFB also receives regular enquiries from other parts of Scotland, which they are unable to help with, indicating the lack of similar specialist support across the country.

You can find out more about MCFS projects and services here >

The MCFB Mum’s Group has recently launched their second cookbook, Mum’s & Spices 2, in December 2023 along with a related calendar full of recipes. 

Order Mum’s & Spices 2 here >

Next stop in April: The Why Not? Trust

MCFB logo

Multi-Cultural Family Base

50 Coburg Street
Edinburgh EH6 6HE



Telephone: 0131 467 7052