A care experienced young person needs the same things to thrive as all other people.
That is why Staf and The Promise Scotland have partnered in The Moving On Change Programme to better understand how the needed support can be made available to care experienced people in line with efforts to keep the promise.
The Moving On Change Programme aims to build from the work of the Independent Care Review — which includes incorporating one of the most important aspects of that process: listening.
The 100 Days of Listening will give Moving On experts – whether they are part of the paid or unpaid workforce, or whether or not they have experienced care – a voice.
The Promise Scotland spoke with Thomas Carlton – who is on secondment to Staf – to lead this programme. Below he gives insights into what the 100 Days of Listening project entails, and why it is important.
A conversation with Thomas Carlton
In your own words, what is The 100 Days of Listening project?
The 100 Days of Listening project is the second of five phases of the Moving On Change Programme. What we are seeking to do is emulate the best thing and the most important thing that The Independent Care Review did, which was listen to the paid and unpaid workforce and those with experience of care.
This time we are doing something slightly different. We're not listening to build a vision, because the promise provides the vision which we are all working towards. Instead, our purpose for listening is to try and understand the wants and wishes of those who work around care, support those moving on from care, and those with experience of care. We want to understand how we work towards delivering an experience of moving on from care which is safe, loving and respectful.
The 100 Days of Listening project is probably the keystone of the Moving On Change Programme’s bridge to accelerating the pace of change. It is essential to making the aspirations of the Moving On calls for action detailed within the promise a reality— a reality for those who deserve it to be.
Why is more listening important??
For me listening is important because the change journey precedes The Independent Care Review. The journey actually started with a group of those with experience of care asking for Scotland to listen and understand their experiences. Change had to happen to give a greater equity of experience and a chance to go on to have a safe and happy adulthood.
Listening to the 5,500 voices during The Independent Care Review enabled us to understand the current context and challenges of the ‘care system’. It is listening that has enabled us to build the vision of what the ‘system’ should and must look like.
Continuing to listen allows us to implement and build upon that vision in a way that will actually become part of improving the lived experience of those who require care and support after care.
Why is it necessary to listen to experts in Moving On specifically?
When the change programme refers to Moving On experts, we're referring to the paid and unpaid workforce and those with experience of care. For me, the reason why it's really important that we listen to Moving On experts is because they are the ones that will have the answers to the challenges that are currently preventing us from being confident that those moving on from care have an experience that is safe, loving and respectful. And it is by listening to moving on experts that we can better understand, beyond anecdote, what the barriers are within the system that are preventing us from getting to achieve that vision much quicker.
Why is it so important to deliver a positive experience of moving on from care?
It is absolutely vital that those who are making a transition into adulthood with experience of care are provided with the opportunities and support needed to become contributing members of their community. That is, as someone who has been involved in this work for over a decade and someone who has experience of care myself, is what I've routinely heard from the care experienced community. I have never heard of them asking for hand out, it's always asking for a hand up.
When we do not support those to move on from care in a way that is safe, loving, and respectful, we actually undermine and undo some of the great work that people have put into safeguarding the welfare of that child or young person or the sibling group during care.
It is so important that we do those who have done that work, but more importantly, the child, justice; by providing them with the social opportunity and support to move on in a way that will enable them to go and fulfil their full potential.
It's only by delivering a positive experience from moving on from care that we can be confident as a nation that Scotland can be one of the best places in the world to grow up.
What will be the result of the 100 Days of Listening?
The 100 Days of Listening phase will start from the 23rd of October and conclude on the 31st of January 2024. After doing some careful analysis of what has been heard, we will be surfacing themes to develop and build the Moving On Wishlist. This wishlist will set out what the workforce and those with experience of care hold as essential which will help us pave the path that can get us from our current state of affairs to being much closer to the vision set out in the promise.
We also want to support the co-design of service blueprints so that people can actually better understand how to transfer these themes into system design to guide practice and decision making. For me, this has the opportunity to make a real, tangible contribution to keeping of the promise across Scotland.
Want to get involved? Here’s how…
Thomas and the Staf team will be travelling around Scotland to meet people when and how they want to meet. There is an open invitation to?everyone and anyone who would like to contribute to get involved.?They are seeking to be as accessible as possible and will try to support anybody to be able to take part in the 100 Days of Listening if they wish to do so.