It's 12:42 on February the 5th 2020 and as I hurry to the train station (having intended getting the earlier train to be there in plenty of time and as usual running late) I'm looking forward with anticipation to the event that I'm attending in Edinburgh. I get to Waverley Station and hustle round the other passengers to get through the gates and at the same time juggle getting Google maps up on my phone to get directions to hotel and internally groan as I realise I’m going to have to climb the steepest set of steps in Edinburgh to get there on time! Does anyone else stop for a breather and pretend it's actually just to survey the view of Princes Gardens?  

Out of breath I stride into the venue and grab a quick cup of water and enter the room; immediately there is a nervous energy in the room that hits your senses as you scan for a seat and try and orientate yourself. I’m at the launch of The Promise and the culmination of the work from the Independent Care Review The room is packed full of people that I have known from within the sector for many, many years, many that I have yet to meet and with people with lived experience of Care many of whom are brimming with excitement and anticipation at this unprecedented landmark experience that they have been fully involved in. The cross political party commitment was streamed live, the Promise was launched and it really was a memorable afternoon and I know I for one came out of it excited about the future and committed to upholding The Promise for Care Leavers.  

Scroll forward a year and whilst the experience of marking the 1st year anniversary of The Promise is quite different due to current restrictionsit is great to see that The Promise team has kept its own promise and has appointed an Oversight Board with at least 50% of whom have lived experience. As the CEO of Staf I am delighted to see this in action and to recognize many faces on this Board whom have been involved with Staf as Care Leavers over the years. 

There are over 40 recommendations in The Promise in relation to Care Leavers and the workforce that support them and, over the past year, Staf has further supported the sector in its trauma-informed and relationship-based projects and are as committed as ever to lead and support the activity required around the recommendations. In particular we are keen to take forward and be part of the thematic review of transitions with a particular emphasis on transitions at the time of leaving care.  
Staf is uniquely positioned to bring its membership of Throughcare & Aftercare Teams, Corporate Parents and the 3rd Sector alongside those with lived experience together. Our forthcoming Staf Summit on March 17th will be doing just that. We will unite experts, best practice examples and the voice of young people with care experience to support organisations to be a good Corporate Parent and to #KeepThePromise in a year where we must #BuildBackBetter for Care Leavers.