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Scotland launches independent Care Review

Date:1 JUN 2017

Members appointed to improve life for young people in care.

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Speaking to a reception of care-experienced young people from across Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the full independent care review group has now been established.

Members have been appointed to support the Chair, Fiona Duncan, to undertake an independent review into Scotland’s care system.

The group will look at legislation, practices, culture and ethos of the care system across Scotland. They will listen to young people with experience of care and their families and providers of care and, particularly, children and young people in care now to inform recommendations to improve both the quality of life and outcomes of young people in care.

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The First Minister said:

'Every young person should have an equal opportunity to succeed in life, no matter their circumstances. We should celebrate the progress that has been made that has allowed many of our young people who grow up in care to do great things in life - and those who work with looked after children do an amazing job.

However, we know that there are still many challenges facing young people in care and that their opportunities are all too often not the same as other young people in Scotland. The care system must and can do better by our most vulnerable children and young people. They need to know they are loved and feel cared for – this review is not about determining if this can be achieved, but how we create a system that puts love for the children it cares for at its heart.

I’m delighted to be helping to launch the care review at tonight’s event alongside the Chair of the review, Fiona Duncan, and crucially so many people who have experienced care.

Swift progress has been made setting up the review, culminating with the establishment of the review group, with people with care experience at its heart. I very much welcome all of the members who will be dedicating their time to sit on the review group during this crucial first stage. The wide breadth of experience, expertise and contribution of each panel member is vital in carrying out this review.'
Fiona Duncan, Chair of the Review said:

'My hope is that today’s announcement and event marks the beginning of the conversation. We really can, will and must deliver a Review that changes lives and is transformational. Without the voice of care experience, this Review would not be happening – and without that voice, it will not deliver. Many young people, their families, and professionals involved in the care system have an important contribution to make, and I look forward to learning from them in the coming weeks and months.'
Chief executive of The Fostering Network, Kevin Williams, said:

'We welcome the launch of the Care Review and look forward to continuing to support Fiona Duncan as chair and working with the group to share the views of our members in Scotland.

It is fantastic to see such a comprehensive plan for the review which will consider legislation, practices, culture and ethos, as well as consulting looked after young people and those involved in their care. Including this broad range of opinions is essential to improving outcomes for all looked after children and young people.

It is, however, essential that this review does not further prolong the Scottish Government’s inaction on their decade-old pledge to introduce minimum fostering allowances to Scotland. By finally implementing minimum fostering allowances the Scottish Government would remove the current postcode lottery for fostered children and offer a superior level of commitment which fostered children and young people already receive in all other nations of the UK. Such action would also back up the sentiment of First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, at the launch of the Care Review, where she said: ‘Every young person should have an equal opportunity to succeed in life, no matter their circumstances.’
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