"Their work has led to many positive changes for young people across Scotland and has successfully informed many people of what young people need"
Viv Boyle

As Staf’s first major project into empowering the voice of care-experienced young people, The Debate Project laid the foundation for all of our work. It’s not about us, though – it’s about the young people themselves, so it’s only right that it was a group of care leavers who set up this pioneering group in 2002. We were there to support them and to listen.

The Debate Project ran for 11 years under the leadership of empowered care-experienced young people. Talking to care leavers across Scotland, they were able to gather stories, discuss ideas and, crucially, get these voices heard by decision-makers in the sector.

A lasting legacy

The principles of the project still provide the heart of our work at Staf.

  1. Young people should have the opportunity to tell their stories, understand their rights and play a part in influencing the care system
  2. To deliver the very best support to young people leaving care, we need to hear and act on the voice of young people, taking inspiration in their collective stories.

When the Debate Project came to an end in 2013 after supporting countless young people, building bridges within the sector and provided vital insights for carers and caring organisations, we launched a new listening project: The Voices.

- Tap into the vital insights of care leavers by becoming a Staf member

"I learned so much working with you guys and was continually impressed by your knowledge, enthusiasm, focus and energy. Know that you have made a fantastic contribution to the leaving care scene in Scotland"
Gayle