First Minister admits government 'has to go further' to keep The Promise

Humza Yousaf met with students who have been supported by Edinburgh-based initiative Hub for Success on the week of the fourth anniversary of The Promise.

First Minister admits Scottish Government ‘has to go further’ to keep The Promise made to those in care Scottish Government Flickr

The First Minister has said the government “has to go further” to ensure plans to radically reform how young people are cared for in Scotland are realised.

Humza Yousaf met with students who have been supported by Edinburgh-based initiative Hub for Success on the week of the fourth anniversary of The Promise.

The Promise was announced by Nicola Sturgeon in 2020 following a three-year review of the care system which found it to be “fractured, bureaucratic and unfeeling”.

A series of recommendations included giving carers “time and space” to listen to children and the creation of a “national value framework” for everyone who works with young people, including teachers.

The Hub for Success, which supports people with experience of care to re-enter or stay in education, has been supported by Scottish Government funding to Keep the Promise.

Speaking during the visit to the Hub, the First Minister said: “It is my firm belief that all children should grow up loved, safe and respected, and be supported to reach their full potential – and so the importance of Keeping the Promise cannot be overstated.

“I’ve heard first-hand today the benefit that our efforts to Keep the Promise have had to support care-experienced young people to continue or re-enter education.

“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in this area, including our commitment to invest £500m in Whole Family Wellbeing, introducing more support for kinship and foster carers, our commitment to deliver a £2,000 Care Leaver Payment and our work to expand the Bairns’ Hoose Pathfinders.

“We want Scotland to be the best place in the world to grow up for all children – but I know that we have to go further and ensure we connect the activities taking place across Scotland to Keep the Promise by 2030. By working with Scotland’s care experienced community, and listening to the lived experiences of people like Alistair, we will deliver the change we need.”

The comments come days after Scottish charity, Who Cares? Scotland, warned about a lack of progress on The Promise.

Louise Hunter, Chief Executive at Who Cares? Scotland said: “This is a critical time for the Care Experienced community.

“It has been seven years since Nicola Sturgeon announced a ‘root and branch review’ of the care system in Scotland. And we’re now four years down the line since the publication of The Promise, it’s clear there is still lots to do.

“We want to make sure that Scotland is aware of the progress, highlight concerns from the Care Experienced community and motivate everyone to work together to uphold the commitments set out in The Promise.

“Together, we can make sure Care Experienced people have a lifetime of equality, respect and love.”

The Promise Oversight Board, the organisation tasked with holding Scotland to account, admitted in June 2023 that plans are not on track and that the first plan would not be successful.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code