Fiona Duncan: Plan 21-24 - Building a country that cares, made up of services that work


Today sees the launch of Plan 21-24, the first of three plans that will together set out how Scotland will, by 2030, #KeepThePromise made by the Independent Care Review.  Plan 21-24 focuses what must be done during the period from 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2024. It provides key priorities and areas of focus for organisations to work to achieve the required change over the next three years.  

It is ambitious.   

It is bold.  

It will deliver transformational change.  

And it only exists because of the care experienced babies, infants, children, young people and families who campaigned for the Independent Care Review and then selflessly shared intimate and often painful experiences of the ‘care system’ in the hope of change.  Change that would mean that children, young people and families were listened to, respected, involved and heard in every decision that affects them. Change that would support families to stay together and prioritise the safe loving relationships that are important to children and young people. Change that would make love the value that drives everything and that everything operates around.  

That change is here.  And this is Scotland’s plan to deliver it. 

Plan 21-24 is truly ground-breaking.

Hundreds of organisations committed to keep a single promise made to children and families in the knowledge that to do so would require them to change, to work together and in sequence – something that hasn’t been attempted to realise a collective vision anywhere else.   

But I have seen the level of commitment and enthusiasm from all those required to change, those who need change and those with the power to influence change and I am confident that Scotland will #KeepThePromise.   

Those  100+ organisations, including local and national government, national bodies and agencies, local and national organisations across public, third and private sectors and those with statutory responsibility for children and families directly engaged with The Promise Scotland team. They submitted plans, reports and survey responses to outline what they would do to #KeepThePromise, the support they needed and what help they could offer.  Scotland is primed and ready to do the hard work required. 

The ordering of the Care Review’s conclusions have been translated into five priority areas of change: 

  • A good childhood 
  • Whole family support 
  • Supporting the workforce 
  • Planning
  • Building capacity 

Each priority area contains actions that will be achieved by 2024.  These actions cover a wide range of important areas such as; family therapy, support for children of young children, schools and exclusion, the importance of safe, loving relationships, youth justice, advocacy, independent living, values and the workforce, investment, information-sharing, data, legislation, children’s hearing system and inspection and regulation. 

But do not be mistaken - Plan 21-24 isn’t about building a new ‘system’. Rather, it is about building a country that cares, made up of services that work to meet the needs of children and families where and when they are needed. The system, the scaffolding around services, policy, budgets and legislation are secondary, and must shift to facilitate what children and families need and reflect what they have said matters at every level.  

The Promise Scotland is working towards a promise kept by 2030, and its own obsolescence.  It will drive the change needed and provide support, honesty and accountability.  But it is Scotland that will deliver change.  It is Scotland that will #KeepThePromise

Read Plan 21-24 (PDF)

Download Plan 21-24 (PDF)

The Change Programme

The Change Programme will be published at the end of May. It will outline who and what need to work together to drive towards the changes needed in Plan 21-24.

The Promise Scotland team needs your help to make sure Change Programme ONE is the best it can be.

The Promise Scotland also needs to make sure it is targeting its support in the right way to maximise transformative change.

Do engage with and get in touch with The Promise Scotland team at engagement@thepromise.scot and think about these questions.