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The Family Firm scheme was set up by Highland Council as the largest employer in the Highlands, to provide workplace experiences for looked after children. The concept of councils and partner agencies as 'Family Firms' which has been developing in Scotland, seeks to respond to the needs of looked after children and young people as they move towards the end of their schooling and beyond, in much the same way as a parent owning their own business might for their own children. In particular it seeks to ensure that the considerable resources of the council and its partners provide a positive learning environment for the transition to employment. Family Firm placements are intended to be supportive, flexible and of longer duration than traditional work experience. The young people who will benefit include many who experience difficulties in formal settings and with building trusting relationships. Service staff work with a young person in a mentoring role, and will themselves require training and ongoing support to maximise the potential benefits of the scheme. There is close liaison with the young person's Lead Professional, to ensure any issues are responded to and addressed at an early stage.