Nicola Sturgeon has penned an open letter to the care community stating “continued action is needed” from the Scottish Government to support children and young people.
The First Minister wrote the letter ahead of care experienced week which runs from October 23 to 30.
The week is an opportunity for people who are in the care system or have previously experienced it to come together.
In her letter, Sturgeon said she recognises that “continued action is needed” from the Scottish Government and other services including councils to ensure care experienced children and young people grow up “loved, safe, and respected”.
Within the letter, published on Saturday, Sturgeon wrote “The Promise” which refers to pledges by the Scottish Government to implement the changes of the 2020 Independent Care Review, which was built on what children and young people had to say about their experiences.
The investigation called for a radical overhaul of Scotland’s care system which it described as “fractured, bureaucratic and unfeeling for far too many children and families” which “doesn’t adequately value the voices and experiences of those in it.”
Sturgeon wrote: “Keeping The Promise is more than just a job to me.
“I am personally committed to making sure each and every one of you grows up feeling loved, safe and protected and that the right support continues to be available for you throughout your life.”
It went on to read: “I am absolutely committed to keeping The Promise by 2030 but I also recognise that continued action is needed by the Scottish Government, by councils, by local services, by health boards – by all of Scotland – to ensure our Promise is kept.”
The report “Paving the Way”, which was recently published by non-profit organisation Who Cares? Scotland, builds on a review from the care community on what the Scottish Government said it will do in its Promise Implementation Plan, published in March this year.
The review called for the government to put more emphasis on support for care experienced adults and mental health, and that it should be clear on the timescales against which actions will be delivered.
Sturgeon highlighted work by Scottish Government to support care experienced young people including the provision of £500m for the Whole Family Wellbeing Funding which aims to support families to stay together where it is safe to do so and further support for staff and services in areas of education, investment in mental health and providing trauma training.
Sturgeon also highlighted legislation being introduced later this year, the Children’s Care and Justice Bill, which will put and end to placing under 18s in Young Offenders Institutions.
She added: “Two and a half years on from the conclusion of the Independent Care Review, I am encouraged by the changes to services, structures and ways of working that have started to happen at both local and national level.
“We must keep up that good work, and the Scottish Government will continue to put our full efforts behind bringing forward actions as quickly as possible.
“You are helping by highlighting the reality of your experience and, once again, I thank you for this – you are making a huge difference which will continue to lead to transformational change across Scotland.”