Frequently asked questions

In October 2016, after meeting with and listening to children and young people in care, Scotland’s First Minister announced “an independent, root and branch review of the care system” to look at “the underpinning legislation, practices, culture and ethos”.

The Independent Care Review began its work in February 2017 and by November of the same year it was agreed that the Care Review would take up to three years to conclude.

The Care Review prioritised listening and heard over 5,500 experiences. Over half were children, young people and adults who had lived in care. The rest were families and the paid and unpaid workforce.

On Wednesday 5 February 2020, the Independent Care Review published seven reports. The Promise laid out five foundations and over 80 calls to action.

On the same day, in The Scottish Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon pledged to #KeepThePromise a commitment that got the support of all political parties.

Each stage of the Independent Care Review was delivered on time and on budget, as agreed with the Scottish Government. The Care Review delivered its final outputs in the agreed time-frame, publishing The Promise on 5 February 2020.

Over half of the entirety of the Care Review’s budget was spent on reaching and listening to experience of the ‘care system’ through its approach to participation and engagement. Since the outset in early 2017, the Care Review worked hard to make sure that everyone in Scotland was given options and opportunities to get involved.

This included the Care Review travelling all over Scotland, as well as covering travel expenses to make sure that people could attend Care Review events, providing food and covering childcare costs so that individuals could share in places and ways that are safe and supported.

Since the middle of 2018, almost a fifth of the budget was been allocated to the Care Review’s Stop:Go programme, working with all 32 of Scotland’s local authorities to make positive change happen and prepare for the Care Review’s conclusions.

Approximately a tenth of the Care Review’s budget focuses on understanding and mapping relevant policies.

The remaining fifth has funded a comprehensive research programme to gather robust evidence.

The Care Review has been awarded £5,178,235 over the financial years 2017-18 through to 2019-20.

2017-18 £1,239,330
2018-19 £1,768,908
2019-20 £2,169,997

Fiona Duncan, Chief Executive of the Corra Foundation, is the Chair of the Care Review.

Fiona has worked in the voluntary sector for over 20 years, both in Scotland and internationally.

Learn more about Fiona Duncan

Fiona spent approximately half her working time for the Care Review on a flexible basis.

There were robust governance arrangements in place to ensure Fiona’s independence in her roles as the Chair of the Care Review and as the Chief Executive of the Corra Foundation.

Who Cares? Scotland was commissioned to deliver the 1000 Voices project as part of the Care Review. The team from 1000 Voices worked with the Care Review and travelling across Scotland to listen to anyone with experience of the care system.

While the Scottish Government commissioned the Care Review, it was independent from the Government. That meant that the Care Review will worked completely separately and will reported on its progress and shared findings regularly.

The Care Review published its reports on the 5th February. On the same day, in The Scottish Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon pledged to #KeepThePromise a commitment that got the support of all political parties.

Everything you shared with the Care Review will be treated confidentially and with respect.

No one person’s story was used in any of the Care Review publications. The composite stories were created from all that the Care Review heard and are no one person in particular.

The information you shared helped the Care Review better understand the care system in Scotland and formed the basis of The Promise.

In line with your agreement, the Care Review will ensure that your information is stored securely.

Read the Care Review’s privacy policy

During the time of the Independent Care Review, there were three national pieces of work that were looking at what is known as the care system in Scotland and engaging with people who have care experience.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is an independent statutory public inquiry chaired by the Rt Hon Lady Smith. The Inquiry was established to examine the abuse of children in care in Scotland or children whose care was arranged in Scotland, up until December 2014.

The Inquiry will look at what happened, why and where abuse took place, whether the organisations responsible for children in care failed in their duties, the effects of abuse on children and their families and what needs to be done to ensure that systems for children in care are safe now and in the future. The Inquiry is required to report to Scottish Ministers on all these matters, including whether any changes in policy, practice or legislation are required.

The National Confidential Forum is about listening, understanding and acknowledging the experiences of all people who have ever been in residential or institutional care in Scotland as children. People speak to the Forum about their experiences in care and often the legacy effect of that care experience on their adult lives. These experiences are recorded and anonymised before contributing to a permanent national record of Scotland’s care history. By reporting to Scottish Government, the NCF ensures that people’s experiences of care will contribute to policy and practice improvements now and in the future.

The Care Review knows that sharing your story and being involved in the work of change can be draining and bring up difficult feelings and memories. The Care Review is fully committed to making sure that you are given the support that you need.

Many organisations involved in the Care Review already provide individual support to young people who have engaged through them, and the Care Review encourages people to use any existing and familiar support networks that are in place.

The Care Review also works with Health in Mind who are continuing to provide a dedicated wellbeing service to anyone who has taking part who does not have existing support in place during this transition period into implementation.

You can also can contact Health in Mind by phone on 0131 225 8508 or by emailing

If you wish to you can complete a self referral form for Health in mind and email to the address above.