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Progress made on reforming care provision

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By Marc
Progress made on reforming care provision

SOCIAL work chiefs insist that they are making good on the promise to young people that the Scottish Government introduced.

Due to failures with the care system, the Scottish Government organised a massive shake-up of the provision of care of children, with the aim of ensuring kids and young people in Scotland grow up “loved, safe, and respected”.

As a result, ‘The Promise’ was introduced in 2020, with councils and public bodies working together to improve the care system.

While social work services are struggling in Dumfries and Galloway due to demand and staffing pressures, positive progress is still being made when it comes to delivering on The Promise, according to social work director Stephen Morgan.

He explains the work that has been done in an end of year assessment report for April 2023-March 2024, which will be tabled at Dumfries and Galloway Council’s social work committee next week.

Mr Morgan states: “Since the findings of the Independent Care Review were published, Dumfries and Galloway worked at pace from 2020 with partners to implement a broad range of new measures which reflect the five foundations of The Promise.

“Our approach at that time, to ensure that we get it right for not only our looked after children but also our most vulnerable children, young people and their families, saw the introduction of Our Promise Partnership.

“The purpose of this multi-agency partnership was to operate as a strategically focussed group, holding other working groups, individuals and services to account for the delivery of priority actions aligned to Delivering on Our Promise.”

The partnership consists of the NHS, Dumfries and Galloway College, Skills Development Scotland, Children’s Hearing Scotland and various council departments such as social work and housing.

In addition to supporting the region’s two per cent most vulnerable looked after children and young people, the council has also been targeting the wider 20 per cent of children, young people and families living in poverty.

Mr Morgan explained that a holistic view has been taken on shifting policies, practice and culture to “make sure every child and family across Dumfries and Galloway has what they need to thrive.”

In adopting this holistic approach, the council pledged to:

• Support children, young people, adults, and families who are care experienced, recognising that experience of care has an effect on people throughout their lives and the lives of those around them.

• Support children, young people, adults, and families at risk of being taking into care, recognising that the right support at the right times will help keep families together and avoid the need for care.

• Support all children, young people, adults, and families, recognising that applying the right services will ultimately lead to the level of engagement with the care system being reduced.

In January last year, the council also appointed a promise officer to implement the changes set out in the Independent Care Review.