At our Managers’ Forum held in Stirling in September 2018, Paul Beaton of the Scottish Government presented on the Age of Criminal Responsibility Bill, Ben Farrugia from CELCIS joined us to discuss the Frameworks Institute report on reframing narratives around the care system and care experience, and delegates got together to network and share best practice – reflecting on the key issues within the sector.

You can check out our thoughts on the Age of Criminal Responsibility bill here and read some reflections on the work of the Frameworks Institute Report here.

There was some vibrant discussion during the networking and practice sharing portion of the event, with attendees looking at a wide variety of issues from continuing care to out of local authority placements. Here are the top 5 take-aways from the chat on the day!

1. Funding, funding, funding
Resourcing is a huge issue for delivering continuing care services, and for out of local authority placements – for example, we heard about the strain that is often put on staff in travelling across different areas to see young people.

2. Young people still face a postcode lottery
Different living conditions in different locations, disparities in support available through varying service providers – it is clear that the postcode lottery is still very much in play. We need a national response to tackle this.

3. Services need to link up
Teams are often working in silos and are not joining up services – in local authorities housing, social care and finance all need to work in harmony to provide the best possible support to young people. Interdepartmental communication is crucial.

4. We need a culture change
When asked if they could influence one change within the system, members outlined a number of immediate and tangible changes such as improved partnership working and introducing specialist mental health workers – but above all, a culture change is required.

5. Nationalise all care services
A bold suggestion was discussed in one group – bringing all care services into public ownership. A nationalised care service could see democratic ownership over how services are run and how resources are allocated. What do you think?