New report on improving Scotland’s care system

6 February, 2020

The Independent Care Review (Care Review) on 5 February called for a radical overhaul of Scotland’s care system following a full ‘root and branch’ review of unprecedented scope, methodology and model which included listening to over 5,500 care experienced children and young people to guide and shape the conclusions of the review.

The in-depth examination of all aspects of care in Scotland included children and families support services; Children’s Panels; Children’s Hearings Scotland; Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration as well as delivery of other universal services like education and mental health to children in care.

The Review called for the following changes:
• The balance of power must be redressed so that children and young people viewpoints form the basis of decisions about their own lives.
• There must be a focus on building and maintaining life-long relationships and support networks.
• Scotland must parent, not process, children so there is no difference between the lives of children in care and their peers.
• Families must be kept together wherever it is safe to do so. Families must get the support that is right for them at the earliest opportunity and it must be flexible, consistent, patient and free from stigma.

Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland, comments:

“Victim Support Scotland welcomes the approach taken by the Independent Care Review. Only with unwavering focus on listening to and being guided by the real-life experiences of those who have been through the care system, can meaningful change be made.

“The findings of the Independent Care Review have laid out some major opportunities to strengthen the Children’s Hearings System to ensure the greatest benefit to children and families.

“Alongside people we support, we are working with our partner organisations and the Scottish Government to encourage sustained improvements to provide appropriate protections for child victims, including those going through the Children’s Hearings System.  Victim Support Scotland would seek assurances that a suite of rights for child victims would accompany the incorporation of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) guidelines as part of the measures recommended in the review.”

The Care Review has produced five main reports.