The Independent Care Review backs calls for children and young people in care to have more support and fewer delays accessing vital services.
Charity Who Cares? Scotland’s new report ‘We Don’t Have To Wait’ reflects areas of work already ongoing by the Independent Care Review, with love, health, education and employment highlighted as important to care experienced children and young people.
The Independent Care Review agrees that changes to care in Scotland will be harder to achieve if children and young people don’t have a say in what happens in their lives.
The Independent Care Review has heard the views of over 3,000 people across Scotland, with over half having personal experience of the care system.
As part of the work of the Independent Care Review, dedicated groups of young people, adults and professionals with care experience are looking at what changes need to be made and how to move towards care being delivered in a more caring way.
Fiona Duncan, Chair of the Independent Care Review said:
“We have listened to people with experience of care and professionals, and have identified changes that could be made sooner to transform the lives of children and young people in care and into adulthood.”
“We need better ways of assessing the mental health of children and young people in care. And we need to remove the practices that can make it hard for social workers and other professionals building trusted relationships, so that people feel safe and supported.”
“But it’s not enough to demand change. The Independent Care Review is working alongside staff from all 32 of Scotland’s local authorities and community planning partnerships to identify what improvements or tests of change can start to happen in their area, what can stop, and what can be brought in.”
Adam Bennett, who has been in foster care since he was 13-years-old, is the co-chair of the Independent Care Review’s Health and Wellbeing work group, gathering research and listening to the views of young people. He says:
“It’s really important that anyone in the care system has access to mental health support. Some children and young people come into care with trauma and the Independent Care Review is determined to make sure children and young people are listened to and have the chance to heal.
“The review is gathering evidence on mental health and lots of other areas, and is listening to people’s real life experiences to find the right solutions.”
The Independent Care Review will continue to travel across Scotland to listen to anyone with views on the care system, taking the time to build trusted relationships, and will continue to build robust evidence of successes and challenges for its final recommendations.