Duncan Dunlop, CEO of Who Cares? Scotland
On October 15th the First Minister made history. In her key note speech at the SNP Conference 2016 she announced an independent review of the care system. A review that, for the first time, will be driven by the experiences of those who are in care and have been in care. That is not something any other country has ever tried to do. It will be done in Scotland first.
I’m extremely proud to say that Who Cares? Scotland’s membership, care experienced people, have played an instrumental part in the government coming to this decision.
At a minimum, the review will cover the underpinning legislation, the practices, culture and ethos of the care system. Something that our members tell us is desperately needed. This review has the mandate to literally save lives. It is a line in the sand. The appreciative nature of this review, with care experience at its core, makes it a global first. Care experienced people will now be integral in the design of a system that will give them a much better chance to not just survive, but thrive.
Young people can now imagine a care system where brothers & sisters are expected to live together. A system where all carers are encouraged to us the word ‘love’ around children they dedicate their lives to caring for.
As a result of the First Minister’s personal commitment, care experience people can now imagine a society where ordinary Scots understand that those who come into care become their children. And unlike the decades that have preceded us, they can imagine a country where people are not ashamed to say that they have been in care and are not embarrassed to own that identity. This is the care system that our members hope to see.
Who Cares? Scotland is committed to making this review work. Care experienced people have expertise that has been untapped for too long. If we work together, this is truly an opportunity for Scotland to become the best place to grow up as a care experienced child.