Authors: Barnardo’s Scotland, Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS), Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice (CYCJ), Institute for Research in Social Services (IRISS), Life Changes Trust, Quarriers Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum, Who Cares? Scotland
The Scottish Care Leavers Covenant supports Scotland’s corporate parents, carers, practitioners, managers and decision makers in fulfilling their duties to improve the life chances of all of Scotland’s care leavers.
Care leavers often struggle on their journey into adulthood. For many the leap from care to independence is just too great, and too many continue to experience problems that lead to much poorer outcomes than the general population. These outcomes are not inevitable and should not be accepted as the norm. The Covenant builds on the principles of Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) by taking a holistic, young person-centred approach. It focuses on the long-term wellbeing needs of care leavers; highlighting the need for early intervention and help that is appropriate, proportionate and timely. It also needs high standards of cooperation, joint working and communication between agencies locally and across Scotland. Aligning the Covenant with GIRFEC will make sure that the ‘one child – one plan – one care journey’ principle continues beyond the young person’s care setting.
The voice of care leavers must be heard and inform the development of support available to them.
While high-quality support into adulthood is critical we know that improving outcomes for care leavers is built on the solid foundations of good, stable, care experiences. Therefore we will work with local authorities and partners to fully and meaningfully implement Staying Put Scotland Guidance and Part 11 (Continuing Care) of the Children
and Young People (Scotland) Act 20144, to ensure that young people only move on from care when they are ready to make the transition in a positive and sustained way.