We Listen. We Care. We Love. These are Staf’s values that we strive to incorporate in all that we do. That’s why, when Staf and The Promise Scotland came together to ambitiously co-develop a national ‘moving on’ strategy with and for Scotland, it was imperative that we start with Listening.

During Care Experienced Week 2023, we launched the 100 Days of Listening to better understand how we can make meaningful change to the support available for care experienced people moving on from care. Today, we are publishing the 100 Days of Listening output to share what we heard and what happens next. This publication is a thematic culmination of what the voices of those that we heard from during the 100 Days of Listening phase had to say.

Most importantly, we want to give our sincere thanks to everyone in the care experienced community and workforce who shared their time, stories, hopes and expectations with us. We also want to let you know what’s next – how what you shared will help make positive change for the care experienced community.

What we did

During the 100 Days of Listening, we engaged with 365 ‘moving on’ experts from 24 of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas, about their experiences, hopes and aspirations whilst moving on from care. 

We recognised those experiences could be difficult to discuss for some, so we made sure to use an approach that focused on the Trauma-Informed Principles of safety, trust, choice, collaboration, and empowerment.

There was also the option of an online survey experts could complete to share their views. The survey was completely anonymous to protect confidentiality. 

What we heard

We heard from a passionate, caring workforce, who wanted to do their best for the young people in their care, but often felt restricted by the confines of the system. Likewise, we heard about services with a strong ethos of care and belonging, trialling different ways of supporting young people in the ‘moving on’ stage.

We brought the information gathered from our activities together under the wellbeing indicators: Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible, Included.

Four key themes emerged across all these areas that were felt to fundamentally impact a person’s ability to move on from care in a safe, loving, and respectful way. These reflect what Scotland needs to do to keep The Promise for young people moving on from care.

  • Systems and services
  • Housing
  • Finance
  • Practical support and life skills

What next

We continue to believe the aspiration to ensure every child moves on from care in a safe, loving, and protected way, is achievable. However, we also know the work and commitment required to make this a reality by 2030 is significant.

This report outlines some factors and potential solutions for Scotland to consider. Achieving change requires a collaborative approach from all of us. We will use the information collected through the 100 Days of Listening to inform new tests of change. The outcomes will contribute to a shared set of standards and principles, to guide systems and practice that support young people moving on from care; and contribute to a co-designed national strategy with and for Scotland.

This is the first phase of the overall journey we will take together, as a nation, to developing that national strategy, and this publication marks a stage in this journey and reflects our organisations’ commitment to providing appreciation and feedback to those who have lent us their voices.

Read the full report here.