Photo: First Minister with Fiona Duncan, Chair of the independent care review.
We were delighted to see the announcement of the members of the independent care review group, the body established to undertake a review of our care system (30th May).
This marks an important step in this country’s efforts to revolutionise the care system for children and young people, and we were pleased to see that this group boasted five care experienced people, who will be able to personally highlight the challenges that so many of those in care face.
In the following weeks and months, the independent body will hear from young people, their families, and professionals involved in the care system, helping to build something that works for those that need it most. As part of the evidence the review group will consider, Who Cares? Scotland has been asked to deliver their 1000 Voices project. 1000 voices will give all care experienced people a safe, independent, dedicated space to share their views and we would urge all those with care experience in Scotland to get involved and play a part in building a better care system.
For too many care experienced children and young people the prospects are not good, despite many of those who grow up in care going on to do great things, and the incredible job done by staff and foster carers who work with them. For example, only six per cent go to university, nearly half will suffer mental health issues and a third of the adult prison population are people who lived in care when they were growing up.
No nation has previously undertaken such a review, and by entering into an open conversation with those that have experience of care, we have the potential to deliver a review that rebuilds a broken system, and truly changes lives for the better.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition:
Duncan Dunlop, Chief Executive, Who Cares? Scotland
Tom McGhee, Managing Director, Spark of Genius
Sophie Pilgrim, Director, Kindred Scotland
Stuart Jacob, Director, Falkland House School
Niall Kelly, Managing Director, Young Foundations
Liz May, National Co-ordinator, Action for Sick Children Scotland