We want Scotland to be the best place for all our children to grow up and for all our children to get the best possible start in life. Our looked after children and young people face more challenges than most but when they feel safe, secure, cared for and happy, looked after children can thrive and succeed.
We have come a long way in recent years in improving the outcomes for our looked after children and young people -there is good work underway across Scotland - but there is still more to do. Our challenge now is to accelerate the pace of change, to make sure we are providing the care and support we would want for our own children. We need to be even more ambitious and work together to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of our looked after children and young people.
The strategy sets out our priorities to improve the lives of looked after children and young people. It has relationships at its heart. When looked after children and young people talk about what makes a difference for them it is people, not systems, they talk about: a foster carer who made them feel safe and loved; a social worker who listened; an advocate or mentor who valued them for who they were. We want every looked after child to have these kinds of relationships.
This strategy reflects the on-going collaborative work between Scottish Government, local authorities, professionals, carers, families and children and young people. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in developing the strategy. In particular, I want to thank the many thousands of people - paid and unpaid - who will deliver it and who will go the extra mile every day to give our looked after children and young people the fulfilling life they deserve.
Minister for Children and Young People