Scotland’s Independent Care Review has published its final conclusions. Five reports have been published and the main report ‘The Promise’ runs to 124 pages. To keep our members informed, we will set out the conclusions in a series of brief summaries.

The Promise notes that they found “a frustrated anxious and overwhelmed workforce” and that a “new way of thinking about our workforce” was required to overcome this. In this blog, we look at the recommendations for achieving this.

Here’s just five things you need to know.


  1. The workforce should be given the “time and space to listen” to children and young people.

The Care Review calls for care-experienced children and young people to be listened to, not just in decisions about their lives but about the delivery and improvement of care services.

To achieve this, it states that the workforce “must be supported to listen” with the resources and creative options to allow this to happen through meaningful relationships. In particular, it states that family group decision-making and mediation must become more common.

The Promises calls for capacity to support participation to be a focus in all workforce learning pathways. Effective participation will require investment and, where successful approaches already exist, they should be shared and replicated.


  1. The Promise calls for a wider understanding of the workforce, focussing on the ‘relationships around the child’.

The Promise proposes a new way of looking at the workforce, encompassing all of the relationships that support the child: their family of origin, other carers with a parental role, decision makers, other professionals (‘awareness roles’) and the wider community.

The Promise calls for all care settings to take a relationship-based approach, with the workforce given the “time to focus and reflect on relationships”, as well as the support to be “present and emotionally available”.

To support the workforce to maintain relationships with young people who leave care, the Review calls for “imaginative planning, supportive systems and adequate resource.”


  1. The Promise calls for a “national value framework” for all of those who work with young people to be developed.

To support the ‘relationships around the child’ approach, the Promise calls for a ‘national values framework’ shared by all of the workforce, including all professionals such as teachers.

The values should make clear that “the primary purpose of care is to develop nurturing, patient, kind, compassionate, trusting and respectful relationships so that children feel loved and safe.”

For organisations that continue to have parenting responsibilities for young adults, a “set of shared aims, values and knowledge” should be developed, particularly to ensure those with statutory responsibility “understand the extent of their obligations”.


  1. All carers must be “informed by a clear understanding of trauma, and how to respond to and love children who have experienced deeply disturbing and distressing things.”

There is recognition in The Promise that many care-experienced children and young people have experienced trauma and that this is, together with poverty and inequality, leads to poor life chances.

Loving relationships are key to resolving trauma and, as such, the Care Review calls for “more provision for all carers, recognising the support they need to care for children who have experienced trauma.”


  1. The workforce must be supported to “bring their whole selves to their work, and to act in what that feels natural and not impeded by a professional construct.”

In particular, the Promise calls for “adequate time for effective, flexible, day-to-day and more regular structured support, supervision and reflective practice”.

The Care Review calls for a recognition that the workforce will include those who have themselves have experienced trauma and that they should be supported to keep caring.

The Promise also calls for employment conditions that “allow people involved in the care of children to flourish and feel valued, including attention to workload, remuneration, employment status and environmental conditions.”

Staf is engaging with the Scottish Government on how we can support the next steps on the Care Review, if you want to get involved in the conversation, join us at one of our Focus Groups or Forums. Find out more here. 

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