top of page
Adults'
All features
Training
Children's

Scottish Government likely to miss deadline for first targets of The Promise

A new report from The Promise Oversight Board says delivering the original aims of Plan 21-24 is ‘not realistic’ by next year.

27/06/23

Scottish Government likely to miss deadline for first targets of The Promise

Three years on from the landmark Independent Care Review, the board with responsibility for monitoring and reporting on the Scottish Government’s progress says it does not believe that it will deliver its initial aims in time.

The Independent Care Review published its conclusions in February 2020 with seven reports presenting a vision with ‘vast and urgently needed change’ labelled ‘The Promise’ to be delivered in full by 2030. However, the latest report from the Promise Oversight Board has warned that change is not being enacted quick enough.

“We know that change is happening, and that progress is being made, with the commitment to #KeepThePromise embedded in many organisations. But there needs to be much faster progress,” the board said.

“Sadly, due to the worsening circumstances for so many and the current pace of change, the Promise Oversight Board does not believe that delivering the original aims of Plan 21-24 is realistic by next year.”

The reforms proposed by the Care Review were to be launched in three parts, with Plan 21-24 focusing on what needed to be done during the period from 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2024. Fiona Duncan, Chair of the Promise Oversight Board at the time (now co-Chair), said that the plan was “ambitious, bold and will deliver transformational change.”

The Plan translated the Care Review’s conclusions into five priority areas of change, namely: a good childhood; whole family support; supporting the workforce; planning; and building capacity.

The latest report from the Oversight Board said it welcomed the opportunity presented by the appointment of a Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping the Promise – Natalie Don MSP – but warned that the accountability and responsibility for change was not organized enough.

“While there are excellent individual examples and collaborations that are achieving change, there is still nowhere that collects who needs to do what, by when, across the ‘system’.”

“Scotland does not yet have a single route-map to 2030 in place. There continues to be no shared set of outcomes and indicators across a timeline that will drive the necessary collaboration. There is also no comprehensive investment strategy in place. These things are important to enable us to report with confidence about pace and performance.”

The board recommended that improvement was specifically needed in the Care Review’s key pledge to end the separation of siblings in care, as well as in education and homelessness.

The Children (Scotland) Act 2020 placed a duty on local authorities that where children were ‘looked after’ they had to ‘promote personal relations and direct contact’ between a child and their brothers and sisters or those in a ‘sibling-like’ relationship. Despite this requirement, the board found that the data on this was often poor.

“Many local authorities are currently unable to provide an accurate picture of whether brothers and sisters are living together, or why they were separated if they are not living together,” the report said.

“This lack of data is heightened when applying a broad definition of ‘sibling’ that includes half-siblings, adult siblings, those with different surnames, and those with sibling-like relationships (such as foster brothers and sisters).”

The report said it was “heartening” that the number of family groups separated in foster care (25%) has not worsened since 2017 but cautioned of a number of potential issues in the future.

There were no new fostering services registered in 2021, and the total number of fostering households across existing services decreased. The number of foster carers approved has also been decreasing since 2017 and the number of children coming into foster care exceeds the number of new foster care households in 91% of local authority services.

Recent research by CELCIS found that one in every hundred children born in Scotland goes into care before their first birthday, with care-experienced people (CEP) facing multiple disadvantages across their lifetime. A quarter of Scotland’s prison population in 2019 was care-experienced, and CEP were more than four times more likely to not be in further or higher education, employment, or training nine months after leaving school.

The board said it expected to see a ‘strategic investment plan’ by the Scottish Government to deliver the required change. Wary of rising costs and shrinking budgets, they said this did not have to mean additional resources, but could mean making best use of the resources that already exist by focusing on outcomes for children and families.

“We expect to see explicit leadership and drive from the Scottish Government and scrutiny bodies to articulate a clear set of principles, outcomes and milestones that will guarantee the promise is kept so that Scotland’s care experienced young people’s life chances are not defined by the fact they have been in care.”

Paint on Face

Barnardo's

Family Wellbeing Practitioner

Job of the week

Sign up for an informal interview for this role today

£23,400 - £28,600

SWT_SideAd1.png

Featured event

Social World Podcast

Podcast

30 Jan 2024

Instant access

Featured jobs

Barnardo's

Supervising Social Worker

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Health and Justice Court Practitioner - Social Worker/AHP

SWT_Online_Events_ad.png

Most popular articles today

Bill introduced to remove private profit from the care of looked-after children

Bill introduced to remove private profit from the care of looked-after children

First local authority adults’ services assessments published by CQC

First local authority adults’ services assessments published by CQC

“The system is so broken”: Number of adoptive families reaching crisis point at record levels

“The system is so broken”: Number of adoptive families reaching crisis point at record levels

Only two thirds of councils confident of meeting Care Act duties by next year

Only two thirds of councils confident of meeting Care Act duties by next year

Sponsored Content

What's new today:

Supporting social work students with additional needs during their placement

bottom of page