From the foreword;
The strategy sets out our priorities to improve the lives of looked after children and young people [in Scotland]. It has relationships at its heart. When looked after children and young people talk about what makes a difference for them it is people, not systems, they talk about: a foster carer who made them feel safe and loved; a social worker who listened; an advocate or mentor who valued them for who they were. We want every looked after child to have these kinds of relationships.
This strategy reflects the on-going collaborative work between Scottish Government, local authorities, professionals, carers, families and children and young people. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in developing the strategy. In particular, I want to thank the many thousands of people - paid and unpaid - who will deliver it and who will go the extra mile every day to give our looked after children and young people the fulfilling life they deserve.
Aileen Campbell MSP
Minister for Children and Young People (2015)
We have identified three priority areas of work that are necessary if we are to achieve our aims.
These are early engagement, early permanence and improving the quality of care.
Our approach focuses on:
Building on the assets within families and communities to prevent children from becoming looked after where possible
High quality support and assessment for families
Delivering permanence without drift and delay - while taking account of the needs, rights and views of the child
High quality care and support for those children who need to be looked after, including those who are looked after at home
A planned and supported transition to interdependent living which meets the needs of each child and young person
reference: Scottish Government. (2015). Getting it right for looked after children and young people: Early engagement, early permanence and improving the quality of care. Edinburgh: Scottish Government
The publication of We Can and Must Do Better in 2007 reflected a desire to see a step-change in outcomes for looked after children.
Since 2007 the Scottish Government have;
- established the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland ( CELCIS), with funding of £2.7 million per annum;
- revised their adoption and permanence legislation;
- reformed the Children's Hearings System;
- enacted the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. The 2014 Act contains provisions to improve the lives of looked after children and young people. It also puts Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) on a statutory basis, providing the foundation for all Scottish work with children and families.