The Promise

In October 2016, after meeting with, and listening to children and young people with care experience, Scotland's First Minister announced, "an independent, root and branch review of the care system" to look at "the underpinning legislation, practices, culture and ethos" of that system.

What is The Promise?

In October 2016, after meeting with, and listening to children and young people with care experience, Scotland's First Minister announced, "an independent, root and branch review of the care system" to look at "the underpinning legislation, practices, culture and ethos" of that system.

The Independent Care Review began its work in February 2017 concluded the research in February 2020 producing several reports. These cover their findings, financial implications and an identification that a ten year system change plan is required. The overall finding was that the care system required a radical change and to make sure our care experienced infants, children and young people enjoy the same opportunities and rights as every other child.

The review identified over eighty specific changes that must be made to transform how Scotland cares for children and families as well as the unpaid and paid workforce. Although the Review was rooted in examining 'the care system' there were significant findings in relation to early help and family support prior to infants, children and young people being cared for in substitute care settings.  This therefore has implications for all services provided for infants, children, young people and their families in Scotland.  It is closely aligned to Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC).

One of the reports the Review produced is called The Promise and sets out an overall view of what the new approach should be around Five Foundations.  These are:

  • Voice - Children must be listened to and meaningfully and appropriately involved in decision-making about their care, with 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 an overcome the difficulties that 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

Realising this shift requires

  • 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

These are the five foundations that underpin #KeepThePromise

Organisations in Scotland have been asked to sign up to #Keep the Promise. There is a clear view that any change processes need to:

  1. be co-designed with those who have lived experience and
  2. be on a multi-agency basis

What does this mean for me?

Everyone who has experience, whether that be lived experience, professional experience or both will have a role in the change process we need to undertake together in West Lothian. Your part in this will become more obvious over time.  The people that undertook the Independent Care Review acknowledged that 'The Plan' would take place over ten years.  However, they also noticed that our infants, children and young people are continue to grow during this time and there may be things that need to happen more quickly, in other words, there will need to be a list of priorities.  You will be part of shaping this. This webpage will keep being updated with information and opportunities for involvement.

Should you wish to get in touch with any ideas or you have any questions please contact ThePromise@westlothian.gov.uk

The Promise outlines a number of things we need to keep in our heads and act upon if we are to #Keep the Promise. Th ...

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