Suzie Scott, Everyone’s Children Project Manager
Following a 3 year study, The Independent Care Review launched a set of reports on 5th February calling for radical overhaul of Scotland’s care system.
The Care Review team spoke to over 5,500 people from across the care system, 2,500 of those were children and young people with lived experience in care.
The review found that the current system is “complex, fragmented, multi-purpose and multifaceted entity” which does not “adequately value the voices and experiences of those in it”. It calculated that services which deliver and surround the ‘care system’ cost £1.2 billion annually – and the costs of failures in the system £1.6 billion.
The Reports include:
- The Promise (and a Pinky Promise for younger readers) reflects what care experienced children and adults, families and the workforce told the Care Review and what must change.
- The Plan explains how this change must happen.
- The Money and Follow the Money explain how Scotland can invest better in its children and families.
- The Rules demonstrates the current legislative framework and how it must change to achieve the promise.
- THANK YOU to the army of thousands who have contributed to the Care Review.
The Promise has 5 foundations for change:
- Voice: 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 focused on children and those they trust.
- Family: 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.
- Care: 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.
- People: 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.
- Scaffolding: 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 must be ready and responsive when it is required.
Some of changes include:
- A radical rethink of Children’s Hearings System, foster care, residential care and secure care.
- Support for families that lasts as long as required, with the collective acceptance that for some families this will be a long-term commitment.
- Holistic family support and individualised planning for all families in and on the ‘edges’ of care.
- Support for all families caring for disabled children and those with additional support needs.
- Treating Asylum seeking children as “looked after” children and placing them in caring, supportive settings.
- Avoiding the “monetisation” of the care of children and the government should prevent the marketisation of care.
There is a 10 year implementation plan, which will involve all sectors of the ‘care system’ including the multiple agencies that commission and operate it. Through working together on a single Plan public and third sector collaboration will be strengthened. The voices of care experienced people will continue to be at the centre.
The Scottish Government has welcomed the report and promised to support its implementation.
The Everyone’s Children project and the Glasgow Third Sector Children, Young People and Families Citywide Forum welcome the Care Review reports. Glasgow is already on the road to improving the lives of care experienced young people and we will work in partnership with the government and the HSCP to implement the recommendations.