Social Covenant Steering Group


The Independent Review of Adult Social Care expressed a need for a Social Covenant to build trust in social care support. The review noted that in order to achieve the aspiration for everyone in Scotland to get the social support they need to live their lives as they choose, citizens, representative bodies, providers, civic Scotland and national Government would have to set aside their self-interests and work together for the common good.

About social covenants


The Independent Review of Adult Social Care report said: “Trust is not currently in plentiful supply in social care support and so we believe that there is a need for an explicit social covenant to which all parties would sign up.”

Key principles of social covenant

  • we need a joint commitment by people, organisations and national Government to set aside self-interest and each work together for the common good
  • this will be particularly important if we want to achieve our aspiration for everyone in Scotland to get the social care support they need to live their lives as they choose and to be active citizens
  • in their 2014 report, the World Economic Forum describes a social covenant as a way to establish a common set of values and beliefs
  • the dignity of the human person, whatever their race, gender, background or beliefs
  • the importance of a common good that transcends individual interests
  • the need for oversight – a concern not just for ourselves but for future generations as well

In their manifesto, the Scottish Government pledged to set up a social covenant steering group, including people with living and lived experience of social care within the first 100 days of Parliament.


The initial membership of the group includes unpaid carers, disability rights activists, a care home resident, a campaigner for the needs of relatives of those in care homes, a representative for hearing and visual impairment, a social care worker and others with significant experience of the way in which services are currently delivered. The diverse group includes people from across Scotland with a spread of ages, and social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Membership will be flexible as the programme to establish a National Care Service to drive better outcomes for people develops.

List of members

  • Maree Todd MSP (Chair)
  • Sarah Cronie
  • Dr Caroline Gould
  • Tommy Whitelaw
  • Marion McArdle
  • Sophie and Robert Hogg
  • Robert Faulds
  • Richard Toner
  • Shubhanna Hussain-Ahmed
  • Dr Jim Elder -Woodward OBE
  • Cathie Russell
  • COSLA representative
  • Dr Pauline Nolan 
  • Janet MacLugash
  • Göran Henriks
  • John Whitfield

Read the member biographies




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