In October 2016, the First Minister made a commitment that Scotland would “come together and love its most vulnerable children to give them the childhood they deserve.” She announced an Independent Root and Branch Review of Care (“the Care Review”), driven by those with experience of care.
The Independent Care Review carefully listened, for over three years, to thousands (5,500) of infants, children, young people and families, many of whom did not feel loved, were not kept safe, were not respected, and were not supported to achieve their potential.
On 5th February 2020, Scotland listened to the Independent Care Review conclusions and all political parties in Scotland promised to implement them in full. Read The Promise here.
The Promise report is built on Five Foundations. These foundations must be at the heart of a reorganisation of how Scotland thinks, plans and prioritises for children and their families.
Children must be listened to and meaningfully and appropriately involved in decision-making about their care, with all those involved properly listening and responding to what children want and need. There must be a compassionate, caring, decision-making culture focussed on children and those they trust.
Where children are safe in their families and feel loved they must stay – and families must be given support together to nurture that love and overcome the difficulties which get in the way.
Where living with their family is not possible, children must stay with their brothers and sisters where safe to do so and belong to a loving home, staying there for as long as needed.
The children that Scotland cares for must be actively supported to develop relationships with people in the workforce and wider community, who in turn must be supported to listen and be compassionate in their decision-making and care.
Children, families and the workforce must be supported by a system that is there when it is needed. The scaffolding of help, support and accountability.