First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today pledged to listen to 1,000 young people with experience of care.
Ms Sturgeon was meeting children and young people at Who Cares? Scotland in Glasgow to kick off a project to improve the lives of children in care.
The 1,000 voices manifesto, put together by Who Cares? Scotland and a coalition of charities, has three aims:
To let young people return to care and to extend aftercare;
To make sure young people who are looked after at home get the support they need;
To make sure more young people have a chance at getting and keeping a job.
Commenting, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Every child should have the best start in life and an equal chance to succeed. Yet for far too many young people in care, and through absolutely no fault of their own, that’s not the case.
“Children and young people are the best advocates for change and I am delighted to commit to listen to 1,000 people with experience of care.
“I’ve heard today some powerful stories of incredible strength and success in the most adverse of circumstances. Every person will have a different experience and over the next two years, I’ll spend time meeting many more young people or hearing their stories.
“By listening more to our young people, and by hearing what works and how the care system can improve, we’ll be able to make meaningful, lasting change and ensure children in care get the same support, stability and life chances that the rest of us take for granted.”
Duncan Dunlop, Chief Executive of Who Cares? Scotland said: “We are thrilled to welcome the First Minister today. The commitment to listen to 1000 care experienced voices shows incredible leadership and will set us on a journey that will change the outcomes for care experienced people once and for all.
“The Scottish Government, when passing the Children and Young People Act, did something that had never been done by any Government in the world. They engaged with care experienced people, listened to their stories, and made legislation that addressed the realities of what it’s like to leave care.
“As the most senior corporate parent in Scotland, the First Minister has now set the tone. Decisions can’t and shouldn’t be made without listening to care experienced people. It is this commitment to working together that makes us confident that we are on the road to giving every care experienced person in Scotland the future we would want for our own children.”