Independent review into care system

Chair appointed.

Fiona Duncan, Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland has been appointed as the chair to the independent root and branch Care Review in Scotland.

The review will look at the underpinning legislation, practices, culture and ethos of the care system. It will be driven and shaped by the evidence of care experienced young people and propose changes to the care system that will improve both the quality of life and outcomes of young people in care.

The First Minister said:

“Many of our young people who grow up in care go on to do great things in life, and those who work with looked after children do an amazing job. We should celebrate that and the progress that is being made - for example, school exclusions are down and the number of young people living in permanent rather than temporary accommodation has increased.

"But we cannot - and must not - ignore the reality for too many children who grow up in care. Only four percent go to university, nearly half will suffer mental health issues, almost one third will become homeless - and perhaps most shocking of all, a young person who has been in care is more likely to be dead by age 21.

"These statistics - which tell the story of real lives - are simply not acceptable. As First Minister, I am determined that we act now to change the course for the young people who depend on us to make sure they enjoy safe, fulfilling, secure and loving childhoods.

"This review will therefore be root and branch. It will look at the underpinning legislation, practices, culture and ethos of the system. And it will be driven and shaped by care experienced young people themselves.

"This is a precious opportunity to make a difference and I am determined to grasp it.

“I am delighted that Fiona will lead the review. Having previously worked within the voluntary sector for more than 20 years and with personal experience of the care system, she will bring a challenging perspective to the role, ensure that the voice of young people is at its heart, and steer it towards a set of recommendations that will deliver real and lasting change.”

Fiona Duncan said:

“It is an honour to be asked to chair this review. Every child and young person has the right to grow up supported by positive, caring relationships with adults. For children and young people who experience the care system this too often does not happen, reducing their opportunities and also robbing society of all that they have to offer.

While the review will be complex and the issues challenging, it will be the expertise of children and young people with lived experience of the system who will ensure a focus on what matters. It will be crucial that the review not only hears their voices, but that real change happens as a result.”


Pictures of the First Minister and Fiona Duncan can be viewed here:

The Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS), at the University of Strathclyde, has been appointed by the Scottish Government to support the independent review of children in care.

Fiona Duncan’s biography:

Fiona has worked in the voluntary sector for over 20 years, both in Scotland and internationally. In addition to her professional experience, Fiona brings personal insight to the review. Her adoptive parents struggled with alcoholism and her father was diagnosed with mental health issues and as a result, she had a chaotic childhood.

Whilst at Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland Fiona has driven a new strategy for the organisation which includes a focus on supporting communities to drive lasting change in systems, practice and culture. She has contributed to the Foundation’s flagship Partnership Drugs Initiative, in particular in relation to its growing focus on the rights and voices of children and young people affected by substance misuse. Everyone Has a Story, produced by the Foundation last year, was an action learning project, co-designed with children and young people and with their rights and voices at its heart. The Foundation is pleased to be taking forward its recommendations through work that will be led by children and young people.

Prior to joining the Foundation, she spent seven years at THINK Consulting Solutions, a leading international consultancy dedicated to not for profits where she had responsibility for strategic planning assignments, working mainly overseas.

From late 1999 until 2006, Fiona was at Capability Scotland, latterly as Director of External Affairs. Before Capability, Fiona was Head of Development at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and prior to that spent six years with WaterAid’s establishing their office for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

As well as being a member of Comic Relief’s Grants Committee, Fiona is a regular speaker at conferences and contributor to sector journals. In 2016 she was a judge of NESTA’s New Radicals for The Observer.


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