First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, confirmed to the Scottish Parliament her commitment to an independent review of the care system, to ensure Getting it Right for Looked After Children and Young People is delivered in full.
The review will look at the legislation, practice, culture and ethos of the care system by listening to and working in close partnership with children and young people who have experience of care.
The First Minister acknowledged the vital role and contribution care experienced young people are already playing in improving the care system but with their help and closer involvement more can be done to guide, challenge and support Scottish Government and the children’s sector to provide the support they need to thrive.
A review driven by the voices of care experienced people will absolutely help to achieve this. Care experienced people have diverse experiences and views about their care so the wider the range of these voices, the more confident Scotland can be that the review can hear and respond to the breadth of their needs.
Children and young people do not experience care in isolation; their families are care experienced too. At CELCIS, we advise the review to consider the experience of families and carers too.
Professionals are also at the core of Scotland’s multi-faceted care system which we believe can be best understood and improved on by building on the strengths and commitment of all the professionals that make up that system.
To achieve the very best for children and young people we believe the review should be based on three types of evidence:
Examining every aspect of children’s care will ensure the review has greater impact. That means looking at children’s experiences before, during and after care. This includes children looked after at home as well as support for vulnerable children and families.
Commenting on the review, Jennifer Davidson, Director of CELCIS, said:
"From our improvement work with partners across Scotland, we know that to achieve real, enduring positive change for children a whole-systems perspective is needed. That means understanding the role and capacity of services like health, education, housing, and other agencies with corporate parenting responsibilities, to deliver the right support at the right time for vulnerable children and families.
"It is so important that all children experience love and belonging as well as safety and protection. We need to learn the lessons from the past, to ensure we keep children in our care safe, as well as thinking together yet more attentively to create the conditions for genuine caring relationships to be sustained over time. This is critical to helping children and young people feel they belong.
"This review presents such an important opportunity for us all to fully consider the focus, skills, values and resources required to provide the supportive, child-centred care that will nurture healthy, happy and prosperous futures for all our children."