Letter to the media:
This week marks Care Experienced Week (23rd-29th October), aiming to celebrate the care experienced community.
Those in this category represent some of the most vulnerable members of our society, experiencing considerably fewer life chances than their peers, with poorer health and educational outcomes. They are however involved with a care system that is complex and fragmented.
Such a system highlights the challenges that still lie ahead in keeping 'The Promise', which seeks to improve the lives of children and young people who are care experienced, ensuring that they will feel loved, safe and respected.
Scottish Government actions in this area, including the recently published Implementation Plan, which aims to significantly reduce the number of children in care and move from crisis intervention to early intervention to support them, are to be applauded.
However, we still hear of too many young people who are not receiving the appropriate individualised assistance they so desperately need and sadly fall off a cliff edge as they leave care, driven by age criteria.
As a society we need to ensure that momentum is maintained and funding increased, with the Scottish Government, local government, care community and others working together to deliver the necessary transformational change in our care system.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition:
Kenny Graham, Falkland House School
Lynn Bell, LOVE Learning
Stephen McGhee, Spark of Genius
Niall Kelly, Young Foundations