02 November 2021

CELCIS’s response to the Scottish Government’s National Care Service consultation

CELCIS has submitted (today, 2 November) our response to the Scottish Government's consultation on their proposals for a National Care Service for Scotland.

Our response intends to provide a substantial, evidence-based assessment of the proposals set out, reflecting the importance of the issues at hand and the complexity of the challenges. Fundamentally, we give comprehensive consideration to whether the proposal of a National Care Service is in the best interests of children and young people in need of care and protection, their families and carers and to keeping The Promise.

In our summary overview, we explain how our response reflects:

  • The views and insights of people with care experience and knowledge of the care system;
  • The views and insights of people working in the children’s care sector;
  • The evidence of what works for children and families and what matters to them;
  • The experience, evidence and learning of how to make change happen, including from national improvement programmes such as CELCIS’s five year national Permanence and Care Excellence Programme (PACE) and ANEW, to name a few, to improve wellbeing, stability and security for children; and
  • The expertise, knowledge and experience of CELCIS’s staff.

We identify both the potential benefits and the potential risks of the proposals. However, because the implications are significant, and the complexity of the challenges and problems is not fully understood or addressed in the consultation, CELCIS is unable to take any definitive position about the inclusion of children’s social work and children’s services in a National Care Service at this stage.

We recommend further exploration, scoping and an options appraisal to ensure that a structural change on this scale would be the right decision for addressing current barriers to improvement and would be in the best interests of children and their families.

Claire Burns, Director (Acting) of CELCIS, said:

“We want to thank all those who have shared their insight with us not only over the last few weeks, but over many years, to help inform our assessment of these proposals. This has enabled us to provide detailed evidence and information, and reflect the experiences of those who have experienced care and from all those who have a role in meeting the needs of children and families.

“The proposal of a National Care Service provides another important opportunity to consider what it will take to get it right for children in need of care and protection, their families and carers. But this conversation must include what so many have already started or committed to in realising The Promise of the Independent Care Review and what we know has to happen to implement improvements that make real, transformative and meaningful change.”

Our Consultation Response