Fiona Duncan: "There is an urgency. This is children’s lives we are talking about"

Russell Leadbetter - The Herald

This article for The Herald Scotland describes the recently launched Scottish Independent Care Review as "a once-in-a-generation scrutiny of our care system, with far-reaching recommendations for change. It is not unreasonable to expect that other countries might look upon it as a model for their own systems." 

"Over three years, the Care Review has listened to more than 5,500 experiences," says the article. "Over half of the voices were children and young people with experience of the care system, or adults who had lived in care, and different types of families. The other voices belonged to the paid and unpaid workforce. Over half of those on the group overseeing the work are care-experienced themselves."

"It would have been really easy to make an assumption that the system kicks in at a specific point - for example, when a child is removed from their family," said Fiona Duncan, the chair of the review. "But actually it operates before that. And when a young person leaves care, that is not when the system's impact ends. The impact lives with them forever."

"One of the major challenges the Care Review has to pose, regardless of its conclusions, is -- we're not listening to young people, children and their families enough," continued Duncan. "We're dealing with specific incidences rather than the whole set of circumstances...So there are a lot of structural, cultural, systemic challenges around just getting it right, to listen to children and young people."