The Promise have published their Change Programme one detailing what is happening now, what is happening next and what needs to happen to deliver Plan 21 - 24 and ultimately #KeepThePromise. This has huge implications for care experienced young people and the workforce who support them. Here we pull out the key elements relating to the throughcare and aftercare sectors and the young people with care experience.

Moving On (Throughcare and Aftercare) 

What is Required By Plan 21 - 24

  • Decisions about transitions for young care experienced people who move onto independent living or need to return to a caring environment, will be made based on individual need.
  • Each young care experienced adult will experience their transition as consistent, caring, integrated and focussed on their needs, not on ‘age of services’ criteria.
  • Housing pathways for care experienced young people will include a range of affordable options that are specifically tailored to their needs and preferences.
  • Youth homelessness experienced by young care experienced people will be eradicated and they will have no need for any emergency provision or for rough sleeping because options are available and planned.

What is Happening Now?

  • There has been a lot of progressive legislative and practice activity in this area for several years, however application of legislation is inconsistent across Local Authorities.
  • Some Local Authorities reported significant improvements in supporting young care leavers and taking responsibilities under the Throughcare and Continuing Care legislation seriously, with positive joined up working with through Community Planning Partnerships.
  • Several authorities and service providers found inspection and regulatory requirements often did not allow a flexibility of approach in relation to young people who need to return to residential or foster care, reinforcing the need for inspection and regulation frameworks to be considered by 2024.
  • The fact that continuing care duties are not being universally applied and upheld also reemphasises the need for advocacy and legal advice to be readily available.
  • No overarching strategy for the implementation of the Throughcare and Continuing Care duties has been proposed

What's Happening Next 

  • Scottish Government and Care Inspectorate are working together to explore how the inspection regime can better facilitate the experience of moving on from care.
  • Scottish Government is developing plans for the implementation of the recommendations in the Care Leavers Homelessness Prevention Pathway, part of Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan.
  • Scottish Government is convening a cross policy working group on Transitions has been established to explore how to improve moving from children and young people services to adult services to ensure that this is done in a manner that is suitable for the individual needs of the young person.
  • CELCIS is working through its continuing care and aftercare work to better understand the barriers to consistent application of policy. Output of that research is expected to report in Autumn 2021.
  • The Young Persons Guarantee is working to provide the opportunity of a job, placement, training or volunteering for every 16-24 in Scotland.

What Needs to Happen? 

  • Work is underway but does not yet appear sufficient.
  • There is a need for a national strategy to implement legislation requirements and work to break down barriers to implementation; looking at those areas which are working well and develop these consistently.
  • In relation to Inspection and Regulation, The Promise Scotland will work closely with key organisations to ensure the legislation and regulatory frameworks allow for Local Authorities and care providers to be the ‘good parent’ children and young people need to be.

The Change Programme has clearly outlined where work is required for care leavers. We will play our part to ensure the workforce are informed and supported to meet those needs. 

Download full Change Programme One.