Keeping the Promise implementation plan

The Promise implementation plan sets out our actions and commitments to Keep the Promise for care experienced children, young people and their families. It contributes to our ambition for every child in Scotland to grow up loved, safe and respected so that they realise their full potential.

Responding to the Covid-19 Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on every aspect of life in Scotland and the effects of the pandemic on the wellbeing of our children and young people has been profound. For many of our children, young people and families who are engaged with our care services, the impact of the pandemic has made their lives harder and reduced yet further the opportunities for them to build relationships and further their lives.

We know, for example, that school closures throughout the pandemic have had an impact, particularly for those children in low income families who faced barriers in accessing digital technology, resources and adequate space to learn at home. For our care experienced families, it meant more time at home not always with the support and love that they require; it meant a removal of structure and support that the school routine and engagement with teachers and peers can bring; and in too many cases it meant further exposure to poverty and challenges of access to regular services.

However, The Promise shows us that the challenges within our approach to care were there before the pandemic. The emphasis now must be on the need to transform Scotland's care system to focus on the importance of holistic whole family support, keeping families together where it is safe to do so, and ensuring those in a care environment are loved and nurtured throughout their life.

As we build our recovery as a nation we must ensure that transforming the way in which we look after our families who are facing daily challenges remains at the centre of our ambitions for change. Through delivery of our COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, we must work with our parents, carers, communities and our public and third sector partners to ensure tailored and holistic support is provided to those who need it, when they need it and how they need it.

The latest Children's Social Work Statistics that set out the number of children and young people engaged in the care system were published on the Scottish Government website on 29 March.

Scotland's Covid Recovery Strategy: For A Fairer Future

Our Covid Recovery Strategy , published in October 2021, sets out an ambitious vision and plan for Scotland's recovery from the pandemic that is focused on bringing about a fairer future, particularly for those most disproportionately affected during the pandemic. Actions within the strategy are focused on supporting three outcomes:

  • Increasing financial security for low income households;
  • Enhancing the wellbeing of Children and Young People; and
  • Creating good, green jobs and fair work.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the wellbeing of children and young people. Parents, carers, communities and our public and third sector partners have all worked hard to support our children and young people and many have benefited from this support and have coped navigating the challenges. However, for many others there have been significant negative impacts on their wellbeing.

Young people have reported poorer mental health and overall wellbeing concerns, with girls and young women, minority ethnic groups and disabled people amongst those most affected; Children in low income households have experienced particular challenges regarding access to digital technology, access to creative experiences and resources, and having adequate space to learn at home; and the experience of young people entering further education, training or employment has also been significantly affected.

As Scotland recovers from the pandemic, it has never been more important to get it right for every child, young person and family, particularly those who have experienced most disruption and disadvantage as a result of the unprecedented events of the last two years. Our ambition for Scotland's children, young people and families is to create the conditions that enable wellbeing to flourish. We want Scotland to be the best place to grow up and we want every child and young person to be loved, safe and respected, realising their full potential.

Our vision for recovery includes our ambition to rebuild public services so that they are designed and delivered in a person-centred way that meets the needs of individuals,

Incorporating the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots law to the maximum extent possible is critical to ensuring children's rights are at the centre of all decision-making.



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