There has over many years been attempts made to improve residential childcare through the professionalisation of the sector. This has brought many positive changes, however, has also had some unintended consequences as the focus for some of the developments have been on the system and the staff and within the developments there have been occasions where the voice and fundamental basic needs of the young person have been lost.
The Independent Care Review has over the last two years placed a strong focus on the voice and needs of the child or young person and their families and has resulted in a much-welcomed report from the Independent Care Review detailing The Promise. The Promise details a national commitment to radical change to improve how we work with young people and their families. The commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child being incorporated into Scottish Law further supports the change required.
As we pledge to #keepthepromise, we must all recognise our part in improving practice and making change happen. Within Care Visions, the opportunity has been presented to develop further what we do and expand our work. Our accreditation in the Sanctuary Model and core Care Visions Values provide the basis from which the Roots to Growth Practice Framework has been developed. Our process in developing the practice framework and embedding the change incorporates where relevant the Scottish Approach to Service Design principles.
The ‘Roots to Growth’ model has been developed by a team of experienced residential practitioners, managers and academics; bringing together the lived experience of young people and practitioners, with academic research; resulting in a framework that holds the voice and experience of the young person at the centre. The framework is a holistic approach that recognises the impact of trauma on all parties, while ensuring developmental needs continue to be met. Children and young people’s right to be heard and participate is of equal standing to the right to be protected. The process allows for young people, their significant others and professionals to work collaboratively. Risk is recognised and managed. Control and power differentials are explicit and both are shared where possible.
Stigma and the impact of stigma needs to be recognised and therefore a strengths-based assessment has been developed, allowing individuals to recognise where they can positively take control.
The person-led planning process has been developed with training provided by Helen Sanderson Associates. It further develops a maps and paths process which has been successfully used with young people leaving care over the last five years and is reported by the young people as a process which makes them feel listened to, valued, and recognises their potential, as well as their fears.