Aberlour welcomes the publication of the Independent Care Review’s conclusions today. Since the Review was launched in 2016, Aberlour has supported the review and contributed to it wherever possible. Today we pledge to Keep The Promise.
The breadth and depth of the Review’s conclusions reflect the complexity of children and young people’s lives and the challenges involved in providing care. They represent a balanced and considered response to those challenges which recognises existing strengths but does not shy away from difficult questions. Most importantly the Review has sought to focus beyond the ‘what’ to the ‘how’ and provided a route map for change.
At Aberlour, our strategy is based on the belief that only by supporting children and families earlier, can we achieve greater success for our children. Our approach reflects the Review’s commitment that change must be led by children and young people and be underpinned by children’s rights approach. Every improvement we make to our practice is based on continuous collaboration with them.
The Review’s conclusions will take time to digest. They have profound implications for the way Scotland cares for children and young people and the organisations involved in providing and regulating that care. That includes charities like Aberlour.
We strive to learn from what works and what does not work. We have demonstrated that we are committed to improvement; we have had to respond to well publicised historic weaknesses and mistakes. We have also led campaigns to support families and keep them together such as our No Place Like Home Campaign and through our innovative Sustain and early intervention family support services.
The Review’s ambition, that Scotland’s children and young people should grow up loved, safe and respected, to realise their full potential, mirrors our own firmly held belief that all children deserve to flourish.
Aberlour recognises that the Review’s conclusions are based on a concerted effort to listen, first and foremost, to children and young people. We support the principle that the reorganisation which will follow the Review must ensure that children are ‘listened to and meaningfully and appropriately involved in decision-making about their care.’
Pervasive poverty and its impact on Care
Aberlour particularly welcomes the Review’s acknowledgement that it is impossible to review Scotland’s ‘care system’ without properly considering the pervasive impact of poverty. We agree that for care to be transformed, there must be a relentless commitment to ending poverty and mitigating its impacts. Aberlour’s ‘Bad start in life shouldn’t mean a bad end’ campaign follows its research that found children growing up in Scotland’s most deprived communities are three times more likely to die before the age of 25.
Consequently Aberlour is lobbying the Scottish Government to take a child wellbeing approach to budgeting, and provide a transition fund to help local authorities move more of the money spent tackling crisis work to earlier intervention – we are pleased to see that the Review supports this move to earlier intervention.
SallyAnn Kelly, Chief Executive of Aberlour, said:
“We have followed the Review’s progress for the last three years and commend its determination to listen to children and young people. Our commitment now is to Keep The Promise.’
“Keeping The Promise will involve sustained, long term collaboration by organisations with children, young people and their families.’
“We will grasp every aspect of the Review’s conclusions, consider its implications for our practice and prepare to play our part in the implementation journey to come.”