Improving the lives of looked after children

Independent review of system to be driven by those with experience of care.

People who have experienced the care system will be the driving force of an independent review of how Scotland treats its looked after children, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The First Minister said Scotland had a duty to help young people most in need as she outlined how the review would examine the culture and practices of the existing system, building on its strengths to make it work better for those in care.

Ms Sturgeon has already committed to listening to 1,000 people who have experience of the care system over the next two years.

The First Minister said:

“If we are to live up to our ambition to be a truly inclusive country, we have a particular duty to those most in need. We have to get it right for every child.

“Many young people who grow up in care go on to do great things. And the staff and foster carers who work with looked-after kids do an amazing job.

“Real progress is being made. School exclusions are down and the number in permanent rather than temporary placements is up. But we cannot ignore the reality for children in care.

“The young people who speak to me make a simple but powerful point. They say the system feels like it is designed only to stop things happening. And, of course, it must have safeguards and protections.

“However, children don't need a system that just stops things happening to them - they need one that makes things happen for them. A system that supports them to become the people they can be. One that gives them a sense of family, of belonging and of love.

“My view is simple – every young person deserves to be loved. So let’s come together and make this commitment; to love our most vulnerable children and give them the childhood they deserve. That's what inclusion means in practice.”


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