Adoption UK Scotland is proud to support The Promise, the Scottish Government’s pledge that all children grow up loved, safe, respected and able to realise their full potential.

The Promise was launched in February 2020 following a wide-ranging, root-and-branch investigation of children’s services by the Independent Care Review. The review heard evidence from more than 5,500 care-experienced young people and adults as well as dozens of organisations who work to support vulnerable children and young people across Scotland. Adoption UK Scotland was involved in this process through the 1,000 Voices project, which gave care-experienced young people the opportunity to have their voices heard by politicians and help shape the provision of future services. We liaised with the 1,000 Voices team to facilitate several different events with adopted children, including a session for younger children and several discussion events with older young people. Outside of this project, we also provided evidence and information from Scotland’s adoptive community and attended a number of discussions and events over the course of the review.

The Promise touches on a number of issues which we have campaigned about over the years, such as the importance of sibling contact for adopted children and concerns from adoptive families that they can sometimes be overlooked by support services. Only by engaging with these issues can we begin to tackle them, and The Promise gives us the necessary framework to begin this process.

We also see The Promise as a learning opportunity for us as a charity. What are we doing well? Where do we need to improve? And are we offering the right support to everyone who needs it? To help us answer these questions we have created a new role of Community Engagement Lead. This role, funded by The Promise, will give us a fresh opportunity to hear from those voices which in the past may have gone unheard and to better engage with the needs of Scotland’s adopted young people. We will use this information to reform and improve our policies and services to ensure we’re doing all we can to support adopted, kinship and FASD families in Scotland.

Fiona Aitken, Adoption UK Director of Scotland, said:

“We were delighted to receive funding to allow us to do the much needed work required to Keep the Promise for our communities in Scotland. The Promise is a great opportunity to do make the changes identified through the Care Review and our ongoing work with an emphasis on these being led by experts by experience.

Our Community Engagement Lead will be working across our communities (adoption, kinship and FASD families) to hear particularly from those typically harder to hear, including children and young people. Their input will contribute to change and improvements in our policy and practice, from service delivery to ongoing consultation.”

Fiona continued:

“The key thing that this project will enable us to do is build on good practice – we have always put the voice of lived experience at the heart of our services but know that we can do better to engage with adoptees, and to hear from children and young people within our community.

We are proud of the work that we’ve achieved as an organisation up to this point, but we know that we have changes to make to Keep The Promise. We’re determined to work alongside everyone in our community to ensure that the changes reflect their needs, and we continue to support families to achieve brighter futures for their children.”

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