Permanence and Care Excellence (PACE)

We deliver the Permanence and Care Excellence (PACE) programme in partnership with the Permanence and Care Team (PaCT) at the Centre of Excellence for Looked After Children (CELCIS).

PACE began in 2014 with the aim of enabling more looked after children to experience permanence. This means providing them with stable, secure and nurturing relationships, normally within a family setting, that continue to adulthood.

The programme supports local authorities and their partners - in health, Children's Hearings, the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration and the courts - to develop projects that will identify delays, blockages and difficulties to securing permanence for looked after children.

Achieving permanence

We recognise that permanent, loving, nurturing relationships are what matter most to children, and that this is best delivered by removing children from long-term supervision, where appropriate, and giving them the legal certainty that their relationships are permanent.

There are a range of different routes to permanence depending on the needs and circumstances of the child, and PACE uses an assets-based approach to assess the appropriate route for each child.

Permanence can be achieved through:

  • returning or remaining at home with or after support, inclusive of settled informal kinship care arrangements
  • receiving a permanence order where long-term corporate parenting is needed, whether that's through formal kinship care, foster care or residential care
  • a relevant Section 11 Order, which is intended to be a Kinship Care Order from 2015
  • adoption

How PACE works

The PACE programme involves the use of improvement methodology and comprises three phases:

  • phase one: contracting and baseline
  • phase two: diagnosing and testing
  • phase three: implementation

We have produced diagrams that provide more information on PACE's improvement methodology and phases.

By December 2018, all local authorities will be using improvement methodology as part of the PACE programme.