Leave this website quickly.

What it means for the promise to be kept

Keeping the promise means that love will no longer be the casualty of Scotland's "care system"— but the value around which it operates.

It will mean that:

Safe and loving relationships can keep going

When children and young people have safe and loving relationships with those who care for them, there will be effort to make sure these are upheld.

Children can stay with their families, when it's safe

Scotland will make sure children stay with their families wherever it's safe to do so.

And families will be actively supported to stay together.

Scotland has structural and social inequalities which:

  • impact families’ ability to stay together, and
  • impact families' ability to thrive.

These will be tackled so that no child or family in Scotland is left behind.

Decisions will involve the people who they affect

Children, young people and their families will be:

  • listened to,
  • respected,
  • involved, and
  • heard

in every decision that affects them.

Where children and families need:

  • additional support, or
  • intensive support

it will be given in timescales which meet the needs of the child.

And the workforce will get the support they need so that they can be supportive themselves. By doing this, they'll provide the support children and their families need to flourish.

Stylised depiction of a family in the middle of a smile, representing families at the centre of a system.

What to do if the promise isn’t kept for you

Many people won't feel changes around the promise immediately. These include:

  • children,
  • young people,
  • families,
  • carers, and
  • workers.

If this includes you, you might feel that the promise isn't being kept in your life.

When that happens, The Promise Scotland recognises how difficult that can be.

Although it can't intervene or investigate directly, the links below highlight services which may be able to help.

Urgent help

The getting help page has information if you need to contact someone right now.

Independent Advocacy

An independent advocacy worker can support individuals to:

  • understand their situation,
  • express their views, and
  • share their concerns.

They can work for people of any age, including children, young people and adults.

Every local authority has a level of independent advocacy available

for children and young people. Some may also have this provision for parents.

Legal representation

Legal representation isn't the same as advocacy.

It may provide you with specific support. For example, it can help you address and share a complaint or concern about:

  • a relevant agency, or
  • a relevant organisation.

The availability of legal representation – and its scale – varies in each local authority.

And local provision will depend on what you want representing around.

Complaining to an organisation

If you want to complain about an organisation, the first step is often to complain to them directly.

Many organisations have well-established complaints policies and procedures in place. These include:

  • local authorities,
  • public bodies,
  • and voluntary organisations.

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) is the final stage for complaints about:

  • the NHS,
  • housing associations,
  • colleges,
  • universities,
  • prisons,
  • the Scottish Government and its agencies and departments, and
  • most Scottish authorities.

Scottish Social Services Council

Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) are the regulator for the social service workforce in Scotland.

Their work means the people of Scotland can count on:

  • social work,
  • social care, and
  • early years services

being provided by a trusted, skilled and confident workforce.

Care Inspectorate

Care Inspectorate is a scrutiny body which supports improvement.

That means they look at the quality of care in Scotland to make sure it meets high standards.

Where they find that improvement is needed, they support services to make positive changes.

Community Planning Partnerships

Every local authority has a Community Planning Partnership to help make local decisions.

In these Partnerships, citizens and public services work together to put together plans that work in a joined-up way.

You can find your local Community Planning Partnership by selecting your local authority below:

Historic Child Abuse Inquiry

The promise is about making sure care experienced children and young people can grow up with the safety, love and respect which everyone deserves.

But we know this didn’t happen for many care experienced people who are now adults, and that in many cases they were badly failed.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry exists to investigate some of these failures, and to recommend ways in which Scotland needs to change.

Scotland's "care system" doesn't always work as a system.

So when you see it referenced by The Promise Scotland, it will be in inverted commas.

This is a way of highlighting that what's called a "care system" is really a lot of different parts.

And often, these don't fit together very well.

Dominoes starting to fall, suggesting impact.