2018 is shaping up to be a pretty exciting year here in Scotland. In this, the Year of Young People, our children and young people with care experience can expect improvement and progress. With the Independent Care Review about to enter its Journey phase, there is a real energy and buzz in our sector, and with our children and young people at the centre of driving change, there is a lot to be excited about!
Also for the first time in 2018, Scotland’s corporate parents will report back to the government about the work they have been doing to improve their services for care experienced children and young people.
It's been almost three years since ground-breaking legislation was enacted here in Scotland, placing new duties and responsibilities on a whole range of public sector bodies specifically in relation to those with care experience. Some of the organisations involved were completely new to thinking about their role in supporting children and young people. Some have been working away in this area for years, but can now call on new partners for support and stronger collaboration.
Despite their different roles and functions, the overwhelming feelings over the past three years have been of ownership, determination, and pride in being a corporate parent.
Corporate parenting is about taking collective responsibility for improving the experiences and lives of looked after children and care leavers. It is about seeing the individual, hearing them, making an effort to understanding their needs, and going out of your way to meet them.
Sending reports to the government makes sure corporate parents are accountable for what they are doing, but that isn’t really the important thing. What is important are the changes being made, the new ways of working - the innovations and the small changes – that are making big differences to children and young people, and that will continue to make a difference long into the future.
This edition of Reach is a fabulous chance to showcase some of this great work, to see some practice that is having a real impact, in a whole range of contexts.
It’s also an opportunity to think about some issues which we haven’t quite got right yet, and to explore what more we could do. So, dig in to the stories and videos over the coming weeks, and let’s keep sharing practice and ideas, keep the momentum, and continue to pursue improvements for each and every child and young person with care experience.