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Leading the way on ‘The Promise’

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Leading the way on ‘The Promise’

DUMFRIES and Galloway is leading the way in fulfilling ‘The Promise’ made to vulnerable children, it has been claimed.

The childcare system in Scotland is at the beginning of a complete overhaul following a damning independent review.

Every council in Scotland is now doing intensive work to rebuild the broken care system after the First Minister made a commitment that the country would “come together and love its most vulnerable children to give them a childhood they deserve.”

A plan labelled ‘The Promise’ was published, setting out transformational change required by 2030.

Stephen Morgan, senior manager with the children and families section of Dumfries and Galloway’s social work department, last week insisted that this region is “ahead of the game” in living up to The Promise.

He said: “I think it’s really important to remind all of us the reason why The Promise is here.

“That’s because the independent care review of Scotland’s childcare system was absolutely damning. It showed that the system was uncaring, unloving, and that outcomes for Scotland’s most vulnerable were absolutely terrible – if we put it bluntly.”

The Promise has set out a ten-year plan to improve that system, and social work chiefs locally were heavily involved in the review.

One key element of improving childcare services in Dumfries and Galloway has been the establishment of the council’s early intervention family support team nearly two years ago.

The team, made up of two social workers and 13 support staff, became a lifeline service to around 200 vulnerable kids and their families during the height of the pandemic.

It is now supporting more than 220 children and around 130 families, many of whom are dealing with alcohol, drug, and/or mental health issues.

Stephen Morgan said: “All human beings need to be loved in order to grow and develop. In order to do that you’ve got to look at relationships, so we looked at our social work practice and trained all our staff in social work, and hundreds more across the multi-agency partnership, around relationship-based practice and building on people’s strengths.

“That’s given us a really good starting point to be ahead of the game in terms of the delivery of The Promise.

“We’ve seen the number of children that were at risk of abuse in Dumfries and Galloway – those who were formally placed on the Child Protection Register – reduce significantly.

“That’s because we’re building on their strengths, we’re building better relationships, and that’s something we should be proud of.

“Similarly, our number of children with compulsory supervision orders has reduced, and that’s because we’ve got better relationships.”

Stranraer Councillor Willie Scobie asked if some people in need were missing out due to a shortage of resources.

And Stephen Morgan replied that the strain on staff is “phenomenal” and admitted they don’t meet all of the needs for every case.


14th Jun

A cheers to the campaign

By Christie Breen | DNG24

A cheers to the campaign
DISTILLERY VISIT . . . Dumfriesshire, Tweeddale and Clydesdale candidate Dominic Ashmole with Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie

SUSTAINABILTY and whisky were the topics of conversation at Moffat Distillery this week when Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie visited the town.

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