Scotland politics

Independent care system review group set up

Girl wraps her arms around herself

Five people who grew up in care have been placed at the heart of a new review of the system, the first minister has said.

Nicola Sturgeon spoke out as she confirmed that a full independent review group had been established to examine the care system.

It will be chaired by Fiona Duncan, chief executive of Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland.

And it includes five people who have experience of being in care.

Ms Sturgeon said "swift progress" had been made in setting up the new body.

She said the review group would look at the legislation, practices, culture and ethos of the care system and listen to young people who had experienced it and their families, with the aim being to improve their quality of life and future outcomes.

'Equal opportunity'

Speaking at a reception for young people who have been in care, she said: "Every young person should have an equal opportunity to succeed in life, no matter their circumstances.

"However, we know that there are still many challenges facing young people in care and that their opportunities are all too often not the same as other young people in Scotland.

"The care system must and can do better by our most vulnerable children and young people.

"They need to know they are loved and feel cared for - this review is not about determining if this can be achieved, but how we create a system that puts love for the children it cares for at its heart."

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Nicola Sturgeon said there were still many challenges facing young people in care

She added: "Swift progress has been made setting up the review, culminating with the establishment of the review group, with people with care experience at its heart.

"I very much welcome all of the members who will be dedicating their time to sit on the review group during this crucial first stage.

"The wide breadth of experience, expertise and contribution of each panel member is vital in carrying out this review."

Ms Duncan, from the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, which gives grants to help disadvantaged people and communities, said: "We really can, will and must deliver a review that changes lives and is transformational.

"Without the voice of care experience, this review would not be happening - and without that voice, it will not deliver.

"Many young people, their families, and professionals involved in the care system have an important contribution to make, and I look forward to learning from them in the coming weeks and months."

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