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Our vision

That every child has a stable home which offers them nurturing relationships. Families should be supported to provide that home wherever possible. Where a child cannot remain with their family they should achieve a permanent home as quickly as possible with the minimum number of placements, taking account of their individual needs and views.

Permanence planning and decision making for looked after children in Scotland

On video

PACE driver diagram


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Permanence And Care Excellence (PACE) programme

The PACE programme began in January 2014 and aims to reduce drift and delay for looked after children in achieving permanence using a whole system approach. PACE supports local authorities and their partners in health, Children’s Hearings, SCRA and the Courts, to develop improvement projects that look across the whole of a child’s journey to permanence and to identify delays, blockages and difficulties and test changes to address these.

PACE has been developed with the belief that improvement should put children and young people at its heart and should focus on the needs of each individual child and how they can achieve permanence, rather than on the needs and requirements of the different systems involved.

The programme is delivered in partnership between Scottish Government and the Permanence and Care Team (PaCT) at CELCIS.

What do we mean by permanence?

In realising our vision, we believe that permanence means providing children with stable, secure, nurturing relationships, normally within a family setting, that continue to adulthood. 

There are a range of different routes to permanence depending on the needs and the circumstances of the child and an assets based approach is used to assess the appropriate route. 

Permanence can include:

  • Return/remain at home with or after support (this includes settled informal kinship arrangements)

  • Permanence through a permanence order, where long term corporate parenting is needed. This can be in formal kinship care, foster care or residential care

  • A relevant Section 11 Order – this is intended to be a Kinship Care Order from 2015

  • Adoption

In focusing on permanence we recognise that what matters to children is permanent, loving, nurturing relationships and this is best delivered by removing children from long term supervision, where appropriate, and giving them the legal certainty that these relationships are permanent.

PACE delivery phasesPACE programme delivery phases

Model for improvement

  • Model for improvementThe Model for Improvement provides a framework for developing, testing and implementing changes leading to improvements, which, when used consistently by those delivering public services, has been proven to achieve long term positive change that significantly impacts on outcomes.
  • The Model supports practitioners by encouraging the testing of new and creative approaches to implementing ‘what’ needs to be delivered in practice. It creates the conditions to discover ‘how’ to implement change in the local context that meets the needs of the environment and the people involved.