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The Promise Scotland’s Stories of Change conference hosted five breakout sessions.

Details around each are discussed below.

The Stories of Change logo on an image which looks like an arrow and a book.

A Good Childhood

This breakout session was rooted in innovative practice on the ground across different parts of Scotland.

It looked at nurturing lifelong and loving sibling relationships is a core aspect of the promise.

West Dunbartonshire: Findings and Action Plan

Ailsa Dinwoodie, Promise Lead Officer for West Dunbartonshire Council, presented findings from her Council’s work. This looked to get a better understanding of how well relationships are supported between brothers and sisters in care.

She also highlighted the Action Plan which these findings prompted.

West Dunbartonshire is looking for any partners in other parts of Scotland interested in linking with them, particularly in relation to improving data to support progress.

Contact the Council to see about making a link.

Barnardo’s Scotland: Exploring projects

Faith Watson and Lousie Wakeling from Barnardo’s Scotland explored:

It also introduced the Community of Practice for Siblings, a growing network of connection to support work to keep the promise to brothers and sisters.

Arrows pointing to the right, suggesting progress.

Family Support

The family support workshop focused on shifting the dial towards early help and support for families.

The Promise Scotland was joined by Children 1st , who shared their work on Family Group Decision Making— and the impact it’s had on supporting families as they move through challenging times.

Glasgow HSCP also shared information on their journey to reducing the need for statutory intervention with families, showing it is possible to shift the dial to early help and support.

Arrows pointing to the right, suggesting progress.

Education

North Lanarkshire Virtual School’s Headteacher, Mary-Jane Hunter outlined the development of the virtual school model in North Lanarkshire.

She talked about the component parts of the virtual school’s success, including:

  • partnership,
  • strategic developments,
  • data,
  • understanding trauma,
  • relationships, and
  • consistency.

One marker of the success of the model has been the reduction in exclusions over the initial four-year period for care experienced children and young people. This has included:

  • an 88% reduction in exclusions for care experienced learners.
  • an 88% reduction in days lost due to exclusion for care experienced learners, and
  • an 84% reduction in number of care experienced learners excluded from school.

Mary-Jane stressed, however, that this was a journey that they are still on— and they strive for continuous improvement.

Arrows pointing to the right, suggesting progress.

Moving on

This session used Jack’s Story − a composite story from the Independent Care Review − as a means to illustrate the use of experience maps to find moments that matter in someone's story.

Specifically, we asked people to find the moments in Jack’s story where something different could have happened at service and system level— in order to make the changes which people want to see prioritised.

The session considered which moments were dictated by:

  • habit,
  • choice,
  • organisational policy, and
  • legislation.
Arrows pointing to the right, suggesting progress.

Language and voice

This session provided an introduction to the work of Each and Every Child.

Arrows pointing to the right, suggesting progress.