Overhaul to improve children’s rights.
New national standards for secure care have been developed for the first time setting out what support children should expect from professionals when in the community or secure care.
The Secure Care Pathway and Standards Scotland ensure support is provided before, during and after care and that the rights of children and young people, facing extreme vulnerabilities and risks in their lives, are respected.
When implemented, the new standards will deliver a consistent, unified approach to caring for this vulnerable group in all council areas.
Children and young people in care and with experience of care were involved in developing the standards along with secure care staff, local government and the Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ).
Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd (pictured) said:
“Going into care is distressing.
“Some children will not be able to show their feelings or to talk about what they are going through.
“That is why it is important that we have systems in place that make transitions less traumatic.
“The standards are fully co-produced by young people living in secure care and those with care experience and are written from the child’s perspective to ensure young people’s voices are heard, their rights are adhered to and they are treated with respect.
“The standards reinforce our commitment to the Scottish Government’s Getting it Right for Every Child policy, supporting the incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the important asks of the Independent Care Review Promise published earlier this year.
“Above all our young people must feel safe, loved and cared for in a compassionate nurturing environment.”
Beth-Anne Logan, a care experienced young person, who has been involved in developing the standards said:
“These standards are critically important as they show both professionals working in the sector and young people and their families what standard of care, they should expect to have should they enter secure care.
“They focus on the child’s journey before, during and after secure care and how that should look and feel.
“Growing up in secure care, we wish we had a tool such as the standards to help us know our rights and what to expect off the people caring for us as secure can be a scary place sometimes – especially when you first move in there.
“These standards should be a beacon of hope and we should all be striving for the best care possible for Scotland’s children.”
Councillor Paul O’Kane and member of the COSLA Children and Young People Board said:
“We very much welcome the launch of the Secure Care Pathway and Standards.
“This is an important milestone in the delivery of secure care services in Scotland and we all need to work together to make sure that the Standards are full implemented.
“It is particularly welcome that children and young people have been at the heart of the development of the Standards and that they are embedded in children’s rights.
“We will now ensure that we continue this partnership approach as we take on the task of implementation.”
Claire Lightowler, Director of the Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice, said:
“This is an exciting and pivotal moment for Scotland and all involved with children in or on the edge of secure care as we launch the first ever Secure Care Pathway and Standards Scotland.
“Every child and young person should have the right to know what to expect from their support and experiences – before, during and after – any stay in secure care.
“By co-producing these standards with children and young people and their central involvement throughout all related processes, we have ensured they are based on what is most important to them and what had the greatest impact on their care experience – both positive and negative.”