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All children deserve to grow up loved, safe and respected.

Today, the Independent Review of Children's Social Care in England has published its conclusions.

Commenting, Fiona Duncan, formerly Chair of Scotland's Independent Care Review (ICR) and currently Chair of The Promise Oversight Board, said:

“There are two conclusions in the report that impact children living in Scotland and it is vital we address them.
"The first is the issue of cross-border and distance placements. The ICR was clear that we must end the selling of care placements to local authorities outside Scotland, and that is why it is critical that the Regional Care Cooperatives proposed in today's report support local authorities in England to provide sufficiency of places. The main driver of cross-border placements as it stands is the failure to provide homes for children in their local area in England.
"On this, I urge the Scottish Parliament’s Children and Families Committee to engage positively with the recommendations from The Children and Young People's Commissioner, and the group of legal experts they convened on children's rights compliant amendments. The Scottish Government also has a critical role in ensuring that the strategic planning of care in Scotland does not rely on children from England. As it stands, we have concerns about the regulations around children placed into Scotland on Deprivation of Liberty Orders, and the unintended consequence of encouraging distance and cross border placements.
"The second issue is the recommendation around the inclusion of care experience as a protected characteristic within The Equality Act. Because this is a reserved matter, all administrations across the UK must work together on any amendment to The Equality Act. This means taking an evidence-led approach and ensuring that any change is capable of making a tangible difference to stigma and discrimination for care experienced people.
"All children need love, their rights to be championed and upheld, so they can live their lives free of stigma."

When Josh MacAlister was appointed to Chair the review in January 2021, Fiona Duncan, formerly Chair of Scotland’s Independent Care Review and currently Chair of The Promise Oversight Board congratulated him and offered support. Along with members of their teams, they have met 7 times over the course of the Review to share learning.

About the author

Fiona Duncan - Chair
Photo credit: Sarah Maclean

Fiona Duncan


Fiona Duncan is the Chair of The Promise Scotland, the organisation responsible for driving and supporting the change demanded by the conclusions of the Independent Care Review— which Fiona also chaired.