Saturday 5 February 2022 marks two years since the publication of The Promise, a national initiative which aims to ensure every child or young person grows up loved, safe and respected and can fulfil their full potential.
Our Promise Team are celebrating the anniversary with a clear message of support to local young people.
“We are here to serve the children, young people and families of North Lanarkshire,” said Beth-Anne Logan, one of the team members.
“We want to ensure that you and your views are heard, respected and contribute to service redesign. You matter, you are valued, you are cherished and you are loved, and we want to make sure you have everything you need to flourish.”
The Promise Team of four development workers was set up last March to support the council’s commitment to #KeepThePromise.
Each of the team are care-experienced, and want to use their knowledge and understanding to help other families receive the support they need to stay together as much as possible and, where that can’t happen, that they are supported to stay connected and have influence over their own lives.
“We understand what it’s like to have decisions made about you and what it’s like to grow up in care in North Lanarkshire and that’s what fuels our passion to make things better,” explains Chris from the Promise Team.
“By providing help and support at an earlier stage, Promise Scotland aims that by 2030 we will have far less children and young people in care. We believe that can be achieved in North Lanarkshire by everyone who touches the lives of children and families working in partnership.”
In the year ahead, the team will continue to raise awareness of Promise Scotland by talking to children and young people, teachers and education staff, health and social care workers and others involved in the care system. They will use the information gathered to inform changes to policy and practice in care system to deliver better outcomes for children and families.
They also plan to run a series of training sessions to help education staff better understand the impact of being care-experienced and establish a “Keeping the Promise” Award for schools.
In addition, the team will run a programme for young people who have been in or are on the edges of secure care, those have been conflict with the law, or have ever been or felt unsafe in their communities to address issues they face.
“The efforts of the Promise Team has been invaluable in helping council services develop the support we can offer to children and families at very difficult times of their lives,” said Councillor Frank McNally, Convener of the Education and Families Committee.
“Their experience gives a unique insight into the needs of families involved in the care system, and their commitment to achieving Promise Scotland and the council’s shared ambitions is inspirational to everyone involved.”
The team will work closely with a range of public sector organisations in North Lanarkshire, including Police Scotland.
Superintendent Andy Thomson (Partnerships and Prevention) said: “Police Scotland will work with partners to prioritise a child’s need for a healthy, happy childhood that has positive experiences and outcomes. We will focus on language and stigma, building better relationships, supporting children in conflict with the law and implementing a new contextual safeguarding approach that will ensure compassion and consistency.”