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Fiona Duncan is Independent Strategic Advisor - the promise.

As part of her role, she’s creating Plan 24-30— which will soon have its own dedicated website.

Until it does, her blogs on the Plan’s progress are hosted here on The Promise Scotland’s website.


Only by working together will Scotland #KeepThePromise - and this requires planning together.

This means that my job is making sure that Plan 24-30 is devised as collaboratively as possible, builds on good work that's happened to maximise the opportunity of this collaboration , and targets those things that most need to change.

Over the last few months, to inform Plan 24-30, I have been asking the question ‘what progress are we making towards keeping the promise, and what needs to happen by 2030?’ and I am grateful for all the responses received. They have been hugely helpful and are setting a clear direction. Having heard so much from so many on progress and challenges, it is clear Scotland is on the right path.

Right now, my focus is on ‘checking’ the emerging Plan 24-30 with the care community and organisations who have particular responsibilities— to children, their families and care experienced adults. Invitations to engagement sessions will soon be sent, and I’m looking forward to working together to make sure Plan 24-30 is fit for purpose.

Plan 24-30 will launch as a dedicated website

The collaborative work to devise Plan 24-30 will not end when it launches— in fact, in many ways, that will mark a beginning. Publishing a traditional, static strategy will not get Scotland to where it needs to be.

Plan 24-30 will launch as a dedicated website on 20th June 2024. This is being built right now as a dynamic plan of action to lay out the changes needed to reach 2030 with the promise being kept. This approach will support continued collaborative work towards Scotland’s collective ambition, placing the experience of children, young people, and their families in and on the edge of the ‘care system’, and care experienced adults, at the very heart.

The website will include up to date content, based on the intensive analysis I mentioned in my last blog.

What Plan 24-30 will be based on

Plan 24-30 is the output of all the evidence and submissions received and analysed, the consultation and conversations, which has led to an understanding of:

  • what progress has (or hasn’t) been made?
    • and why?
    • what (else) is needed?

  • the stages of the journey to 2030
    • with key milestones

  • who has a clear role to play?
    • what are their responsibilities?
    • who is accountable?

The framework for Plan 24-30

A wealth of evidence is being brought together in the Plan 24-30 website under a framework. The site itself is being designed so that anyone who has a role – or is interested - can explore it, understand their responsibilities, and linkages between the different parts. In time, through engagement, people will be able to add agreed actions and milestones to it as change progresses.

A framework based on the five foundations of the promise

The framework uses the five foundations of the promise to organise the 80+ calls to action. The actions are grouped and sequenced in a way that makes sense for delivery:

The framework will show where Scotland is now

In the four years that have passed since the promise was made, some actions have progressed well and are on track, while others have taken longer to progress. By identifying where Scotland is now in its progress to #KeepThePromise, we can make clear:

  • where a reset and refresh are needed through an honest assessment of progress.
  • where continuity of work underway is important, and should be highlighted in order to be built on.
  • where there are systemic barriers and challenges getting in the way.

The framework will set out the journey that Scotland needs to take

Setting out the journey Scotland must go on to #KeepThePromise and the milestones required for each action. This will help to provide Scotland with a single, shared plan which sets out the routemap to #KeepThePromise by 2030.

These actions build on existing work and commitments, and set out the organisations that need to play a role for change to happen:

  • For some actions, the route needed to #KeepThePromise is clear.
  • For others, the journey is only partially known, or dependent on a particular milestone, such as a consultation.
  • There are some actions where progress is not clear, or where there is disagreement in the route the journey needs to take.

In all cases, the milestones in Plan 24-30 will be intended to galvanise collaboration and action across the organisations with a role or responsibility to develop the detailed work against each milestone. As Plan 24-30 evolves and adapts as change happens, the next steps will become clearer – resulting in progress being charted, and actions being added.

The framework identifies what will help

Identifying what will help support the delivery of milestones and keeping the promise by 2030. There are clear structures, enablers and opportunities driving, creating, and supporting journey milestones across the work of change. Where these exist, such as implementation plans, datasets, governance approaches and funding pots, they will be been clearly identified and mapped against actions to ensure the conditions required for change can continue to be supported.

The framework is clear where Scotland must get to by 2030

Reiterating where Scotland must get to by 2030 to #KeepThePromise, and how it will know change has happened. Each of the five foundations in the promise has been mapped to outcomes and data that will help show whether progress is being made as expected.

This is about telling the story of change, not simply measuring against targets. Multiple data sources and indicators are mapped to each outcome to ensure that the approach is never reductive.

How was this done?

In addition to the independent evaluation of Plan 21-24, the other main strands of analysis informing development of Plan 24-30 are:

  • Qualitative analysis, to establish how locally those who hold primary statutory responsibility towards children and families have structured governance, delivery and priorities to #KeepThePromise.
  • Analysis of contributions to an online form which was open until January 2024, and which asked about the current context of care, practises that need to be accelerated and phased out, barriers, and opportunities.
  • Progress updates on work to #KeepThePromise requested from 140 organisations (including all corporate parents and public bodies), and the 160+ documents and reports, links and evidence summaries provided by the 100+ respondents.
  • Analysis of poster submissions to The Promise Scotland ‘Stories of Change’ Conference setting out the need for change, how change happened, and impact from the changes made.

Plan 24-30 is a significant stage to reflect, to celebrate changes that are making a difference and, importantly, to refocus our collective efforts and commitment to #KeepThePromise.

Thank you. I look forward to continuing to work with you.

Get in touch with the Independent Strategic Advisor at plan2430@thepromise.scot