The Promise – Unison Survey

The report of the Independent Care Review.
The Social Work Issues Group is conducting a survey of social work members to support bargaining & campaigning activity around The Promise – the report of the Independent Care Review for looked after children.

The survey is promoted in the latest issue of Scotland in UNISON.

Do you work in children and families social work? Want to help keep The Promise? Please take UNISON Scotland’s survey by clicking here

The Independent Care Review promised a ‘root and branch’ review of the care system for looked after children, driven by those with experience of it. Its report, called The Promise published in February 2020 makes commitments to children and young people which it aims to deliver by 2030. The Care Review wants to transform the whole system so that the primary purpose is changed from protecting against harm to “protecting all safe, loving respectful relationships”. It aims to create a system where:

  • children are listened to and meaningfully and appropriately involved in decision-making about their care;
  • families receive the support they need to stay together, including long term;
  • where living with their family is not possible, children must stay with their brothers and sisters where safe to do so and belong to a loving home;
  • children must be actively supported to develop relationships with people in the workforce and wider community, who in turn must be supported to listen and be compassionate in their decision-making and care.
  • children, families and the workforce must be supported by a system that is there when it is needed.
    Help, support and accountability must be ready and responsive when it is required.

Achieving this will require significant changes to the way that UNISON members in social work are required to practice. The new National Practice Guidance on Siblings, for example, already places extra pressures on children and families social workers.

The Promise makes many commitments to children and their families which cannot be met without major investment in Children and Families social work.

An arms-length company called The Promise has been created by the Scottish Government to oversee the implementation and delivery of these changes by local authorities, the third sector, the regulatory bodies, and other key agencies. Involvement of individuals with experience of the care system is a key principle. There is a national Oversight Board, of which half the members have personal experience of being looked after as a child.

The UNISON eBrief can be accessed by clicking here.

See related information sources:

  • A Plan of Work for 2021 – 2024 sets out five priority areas with actions and targets.
  • A Change Programme – outlines how change will be achieved over a 10-year period.
  • Individual reports – setting out what needs to happen in both adult and children’s services including in adult health & social care, criminal justice & addictions as well as in children’s social care, family support, secure care, residential, youth justice, the children’s hearings system and inspection and regulation.