The Promise

On 5 February 2020, the Care Review published seven reports, with The Promise narrating a vision for Scotland.  The Promise is responsible for driving the work of change drawn from the findings of the Independent Care Review.   The Promise and the six other published reports can be viewed here.

COSLA and its 32 Member Councils have all pledged to #KeepThePromise by 2030.  Local and national policy and practice change is underway and this page will be regularly updated to feature the on going work and the impact this is having on our children, young people, families and communities.

On the 8th April 2022 COSLA published the Local Government annual report on the progress made across Scotland to Keep The Promise.  You can read the full report and see the work of Scotland's councils here.

The Promise - The work of Local Government

Throughout 2022 we'll highlight some of the work going on across Scotland's local authority areas to #KeepThe Promise.  We'll post each month on Twitter @COSLA and this page will be regularly updated.

  • Glasgow City Council


    “We will support our care experienced children and young people to remain in school and not be excluded.  We will work together to find better solutions”

    As part of the GVS Guidelines we ask Designated Managers to let us know about any imminent exclusions so that we can work together to try to find alternatives to exclusion.  The Lead for Care Experienced Learners is leading the CELCIS working party looking at alternatives to exclusion.  The Virtual School Head Teacher is a member of the MC8 (Included, Engaged and Involved: A Positive Approach to Preventing and Managing School Exclusions) Quality Assurance Group where she will invite 2 care experienced pupils to be part of the group to consider improvements to the policy as well as alternatives to exclusion.

    Following evaluation feedback, we have further developed partnerships with a wider range of partners to improve interventions for our children and young people e.g. Blairvadach outdoor, Outdoor Resource Centre, learning for our primary children, North Kelvin Sports and we are working in partnership with Action for Children on a bespoke programme at the Clay Community Café in Possil where our young people are learning barista skills as well as working towards the Community Achievement Award in conjunction with Kelvin College.

    Our children and young people will not face unnecessary barriers to education because of their immigration status”

    Working in partnership with the Volunteer Tutor Organisation (VTO) we have developed a successful tutoring intervention for our unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC).

    We have made a change to the Overseas Enrolment policy to ensure a smoother enrolment process in schools for our UASC children.  Area Lead Officers work alongside residential colleagues to facilitate UASC children being enrolled in schools as quickly as possible.

  • Stirling Council - Supporting the Workforce

    In February 2022, to coincide with Care Day and the Tending the Light Festival of Care we launched our Corporate Parenting Elearning Module.  This interactive module was developed collaboratively with Stirling Champs Board and some of the young people’s voices feature in training.  The launch was widely publicised to staff as our elearning module of the month and we shared it with partner agencies, including Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Skills Development Scotland. The module is available for all staff and has been made mandatory for team leader level and above.  It will be completed by the Schools and Learning workforce during Staff Development days at the beginning of each academic year. In the first two weeks of the launch it was completed by 230 members of staff.  Completion reports will be monitored and Champs Board are being kept appraised of the positive feedback the module has received, including that it is “accessible and informative”, “the young people’s voices really hit home” and is helping staff understand and value their role as corporate parents.

    Here is a link to Stirling Champs Board’s Letter to corporate Parents which forms part of the training module: Dear Corporate Parent - Stirling Champions Board - YouTube

    Perth and Kinross Council - Families Empowering Communities, the story so far...

    Read more about this project, including the four priorities here PDF, 4088.05 KB

    • Whole Family Support
    • Community Capacity Building
    • One-to-One Parent Support
    • Universal Support

    Fife Council - Delivering on The Promise through a Community Social Work Approach

    The aim of this approach is to work in a preventative way with people and the wider community, rather than reacting to individual crises or intervening when it may be too late to hold families or communities together.  You can read more about this project here.

    North Ayrshire Council - Welfare Rights in Secondary Schools Projects

    Through a partnership agreement between North Ayrshire Council and the Health and Social Care Partnership funding has been provided for a two year post for a Welfare Rights Officer to deliver welfare rights services across seven of North Ayrshire's secondary schools.  You can read more about the outcomes and impacts of this project, including feedback from parents and schools here.

  • Clackmannanshire Council - The Clacks' Promise

    See the key priorities and participation opportunities in Clackmannanshire Council here.

    For more information visit

    Angus Council - Growing Leadership of The Promise

    Angus Council's Promise Team have been delivering presentations on The Promise to council leaders from across council services with the aim of growing understand and developing connections across their corporate parents to keep their Angus Promise.

    You can read more about this project, led by their Participation Assistants Kym and Tasha here.

    East Dunbartonshire Council House Project

    For The Promise to have impact, Plan 21-24 A Good Childhood details priority actions for change including support, relationships and moving on. In collaboration with care experienced young people, East Dunbartonshire HSCP made a bid to the Life Changes Trust for funding to start a Local House Project. This bid was successful and the first group of young people started in February 2021.  Read all about East Dunbartonshire's House Project here.

    City of Edinburgh Council - The 5 Fundamentals

    The Promise is based on 5 Fundamentals. In Edinburgh, to take these Fundamentals forward we needed a collective understanding of what these fundamentals mean to us all. The Fundamentals document has been written from existing Care Review documentation to provide some usability to these otherwise broad headings. Without these definitions and explanations, we could end up interpreting the fundamentals in different ways. This would not get us to where need to get to together in ensuring that Edinburgh’s children receive children’s services that will keep Edinburgh’s Promise.

    Read more about Edinburgh's work on The Promise here.

    Inverclyde Council -  IPromise Team update

    Between March and May 2022, Inverclyde's IPromise team engaged with 183 colleagues across the workforce to discuss ha's going well, where the gaps are and actively listen to the workforce recommendations to ensure Inverclyde Council gets it right for every child. Read more from their update here.

  • Perth and Kinross

    At Perth and Kinross Council we are keeping the Promise by promoting and delivering a way of working that is inclusive and rights based. Wherever it is safe to do so we are putting supports in to make sure children and young people can stay with their families. Listening to children, young people, their families, and their extended support network. Involving them in every decision and empowering them to make their own decisions and plans by offering Family Group Decision Making.

    Family group decision making is a structured process facilitated by an independent coordinator who supports the family, in its widest sense, create a plan of support where there are concerns about a child or young person. Building cooperation between key extended family, restoring, and strengthening family ties. Building community and working together thus improving family functioning and relationships so that children and young people can remain with those that they love and are important to them.

    There are times when children and young people do have to be accommodated. Sadly, when young people have come into care, despite all the hard work and commitment from professionals, we know that children and young people have often lost connections with people that are important to them.

    As part of our ongoing commitment, we have secured investment through the Brothers and Sisters Fund to build capacity withing our Lifelong Links service. This investment is enabling us to develop our service by providing training, information, delivery of, and the promotion of Lifelong Links. Our aim is that every child and young person who is looked after and accommodated can participate in the Lifelong Links process.

    Lifelong Links aims to identify and find safe family members and other important people, to build a lasting support network for children and young people that they can turn to for support as they grow. To learn more about their family history and give them a stronger sense of identity and belonging.

    Below are the experiences of two young people that have been supported by the Lifelong Links process.

    Sarah’s Story

    Sarah was 15 when she started working with her Lifelong Links coordinator. Sarah was accommodated at the age of 7 after being in kinship care with her grandparent for a short time. Sarah then experienced several foster care placements moves before settling in a residential house. Sarah has had ongoing supervised contact with the maternal side of the family and no contact with her paternal side since not long after being accommodated.

    Sarah wanted to reconnect with her father and the paternal side of her family. She also wanted to have a more coherent understanding of her journey through care and the various placements. Prior to meeting with the Lifelong Links coordinator Sarah had completed her social connections tool, she identified only three people as being important to her and offering her support. All three were professionals currently involved in his life.

    Sarah and her Lifelong Links coordinator spent time completing her family tree, piecing together who was who. A timeline supported Sarah to have a better understanding of when and where various moves took place and mobility mapping allowed Sarah to consolidate this, exploring who was around in her life at various times and identifying supportive positive relationships. Sarah was keen to reconnect with as many of these people as possible.

    Sarah’s Lifelong Links coordinator found and connected with over 16 people who often thought about Sarah and were keen to reconnect with her. Sarah’s father was doing well, he was in a very different place emotionally and had been for several years. When the coordinator contacted Sarah's father, he said he had been waiting on this day for so long and would do what it takes to move forward and be able to offer Sarah ongoing support.

    Sarah was supported to have contact with her father this was a very emotional and positive experience, and they continue to agree and facilitate contact without social work support.  Sarah was also supported to have contact with two of her paternal aunts who were over the moon to have the opportunity to reconnect.

    Sarah also reconnected with previous Foster Carer’s, and two of her teachers from primary school who sent letters which included nice stories and photos of Sarah’s time with them. Sarah has also had letters and a birthday card from her previous social worker and the offer of ongoing contact and support from them.

    As discussed, when Sarah started on this journey, she only identified 3 people when completing her social connection tool. Sarah’s Lifelong Links plan involves the ongoing involvement and support of 11 people, and it is hope that this is the first step in supporting Sarah to have ongoing connections, a network of consistent and supportive people around her as she moves into and through his adult life.

    Annie’s Story

    At the time of referral to Lifelong Links Annie was 13 years old and was living in her third foster care placement after things had broken down with her adoptive parents.

    Annie was really unsettled and had began to seek out her birth family through Facebook. Annie was able to find her birth mother and she absconded from her placement and travelled alone by bus over 100 miles to meet with her birth mother.

    After being returned to her placement Annie and her birth mother continued to have contact through Facebook and Annie made it very clear she wanted to go and live with her birth mother and build up a relationship with her birth family. Annie’s birth mother contacted social work and made it clear she also wanted to build up a relationship with Annie, stating that she was very young at the time of the adoption and was in a very different place now.

    Annie’s adoptive family were initially against these relationships developing, however, with support through the LL process were able to accept that this was something that Annie was going to proceed with anyway. They were supported to acknowledge that it was safer to explore this now while Annie had support around her rather than taking off as soon as she was old enough and not having the same support to pick up the pieces if it all goes wrong.

    The LL Coordinator spent time engaging several members of the maternal birth side of the       family who were all supportive of Annie returning to their care and brought them together in a family meeting with her adoptive father. During private family time the family agreed and organised for Annie to live with her birth mother on a trial period supported by the extended family and social work. To date things have gone well, Annie continues to live with her birth mother, her mother’s partner and two half siblings, she has started a new school and has the support of the extended maternal birth family and her adoptive father who she continues to have regular contact with.

  • Stirling Council

    This document demonstrates the impact of interventions, particularly by our Virtual head Team, to promote and secure positive destinations for our care experienced school leavers.

    We have taken steps towards strengthening these interventions in consultation with young people, to ensure we build on what is working well and continue to embed person-centred planning with each and every young person.  We are focussing on sustained positive destinations in our next phase of implementing the Promise.

    North Ayrshire Council

    North Ayrshire's Summer Programme for care experienced children, young people, families and parents/carers is taking place over the holidays. Our Champions Board with the help of our Corporate Parenting Team are running these activities so a space can be provided so that parents/carers, children and young people can make connections, get to know our staff and Champions Board.

    It also provides a forum where views can be sought and opportunities to participate in planning forums can be recruited from. But ultimately, it’s so our children, young people and their families can have fun and build relationships.  The activities, dates and times can be viewed here and here.

    Glasgow City Council


    The GIFSS partnership was committed to co-producing a strengths-based, family-centred intensive family support service practice model. The Team articulated three distinct areas that could be attributed to how they worked with families – VOICE, VALIDATION and HOPE.

    Together they designed a strengths-based engagement and assessment model, which continually evolved with families as they move through their intensive family support journey.  As a framework of practice, it was a road map to how the service would work alongside families.  Voice Validation and Hope places the family at the centre of their story.

    Voice – We recognise that families are the experts in their own lives.  It is vitally important that we promote families to have a voice and choice at every stage of our engagement.  Each family member will have an important part to play and must feel as if their voice can be heard.  This is even more important as often families will be at their lowest ebb and may feel excluded from not only services but at times their own families and communities. That is why in the process of developing a relationship with the family that their voice remains at the beginning of our engagement.  It is vital that we listen to families.

    Validation – It is core to the engagement process that the family/ individuals feel that their feelings are acknowledged.  It is important that a family’s role and importance whether this be in challenges and/ or successes are recognised explicitly as a foundation for establishing an engagement that is respectful, empathic and built on trust.  To validate is to accept an individual as important without judgement or prejudice. The conversation will aim to refrain from shame and blame within the family and move towards more validating language and strength-based communication.  By validating and understanding we can nurture and empower families to see their own strengths and assets.

    Hope – All families have assets and capabilities that can be used to foster hope and inspire meaningful change.  By working alongside families, goals can be developed that are achievable and hope inspiring. These goals will be routed within the values of the family and their community.  Each time we meet with families it is important that they feel that our time together has importance and that there is hope for them as a family moving forward.

  • Inverclyde Council

    During August our Proud2Care young people hosted an event with the Children and Young person’s minister, Clare Haughey, our panel community and Social Workers here in Inverclyde. Our inspiring Proud2Care young people led the engaging day and used the opportunity to launch their Language Matters film challenging the stigma of language used in their care, and together we all explored what The Promise can look like for Inverclyde.

    Read more about about Inverclyde's iPromise Month here

    City of Edinburgh Council

    Edinburgh City Council have pledged to Keep The Promise that care experienced children and young people grow up Loved,Safe and Respected. Recognising their crucial role, staff discussed ways to Keep The Promise for pupils in Edinburgh's schools...

    For Care Experienced Children to feel LOVED in school, we need to:

    • Develop warm and nurturing relationships
    • Make school a place of care and safety
    • Make them feel welcome, show an interest in their lives
    • Know & remember what to do when they need support.
    • Relationships are based on kindness & acceptance

    For Care Experienced Children to feel SAFE in school, we need to:

    • Provide safe spaces for them.
    • Listen to concerns and support them in agreed ways.
    • Have consistent routines and responses.
    • Recognise that these themes are interwoven and that our practice should be empathetic and nurturing.

    For Care Experienced Children to feel RESPECTED in school, we need to:

    • Prioritise listening to children's voices and empower them to actively take part in their wellbeing & education plans.
    • Make sure school is positive and welcoming, always.
    • Celebrate individual strengths and qualities.
    • Show unconditional positive regard, and ensure we are inclusive in all we do.

    Here's a short info film sharing information on feeling Love, Safe and Respected and the five fundamentals of Edinburgh’s Promise

    You can read more information here.

    East Ayrshire Council

    Bright Spots in East Ayrshire

    East Ayrshire was one of three local authorities who worked with CELCIS and Corum Voice to seek and hear from our children, young people and care leavers. This was a partnership approach across East Ayrshire with HSCP, Vibrant Communities, Who Cares? BTHA, Action for Children, Education, Police, CAMHS, SDS and Ayrshire College. This was exceptionally powerful showing positive experiences and impact for us to build upon as well as some difficult to hear messages where we need to do better. The thank you letter here shows our next steps to ensure we follow through with action.

  • Falkirk Council

    Falkirk  Council  are delighted to share their update on awareness raising work they've been doing with young people to raise the profile of the people and work of their Champs Board.  This has included an ask of the Champs Board to rename their Corporate Parents as 'Council Friends and Family' as they feel better connected to that description.  You can read about Falkirk Council's recent work here.

    Renfrewshire Council

    To ensure that we #KeepThePromise across Renfrewshire, we have been recruiting Promise Keepers from a wide range of staff teams and services.

    Promise Keepers will act as local champions for The Promise in their roles and ensure that it remains at the forefront of service design and delivery moving forwards, as well as actioning key recommendations from the Independent Care Review. They will do this in a range of ways, such as presenting at team meetings, sharing The Promise with their colleagues, and reviewing the language used in their service.

    There is a formal application process for Promise Keepers to ensure that staff are enthusiastic and committed to the role. All Promise Keepers must fill out a short application form to outline their interest in the role and any opportunities they have identified for enacting change.

    All Promise Keepers will receive relevant training and development opportunities and access to a supportive wider network to encourage collaboration and partnership working across services in the local authority. The training allows all Promise Keepers to have a baseline understanding of The Promise and equips them with the resources and knowledge they need in their roles.

    Promise Keepers will meet every eight weeks to discuss progress in their roles and share ideas. This will also be an opportunity for Promise Keepers to raise any challenges they have encountered to allow us to provide support and guidance.

    We have recently concluded our first round of training sessions with twelve Promise Keepers and are currently planning future sessions and engagement with education staff.

    Dumfries and Galloway Council

    Dumfries and Galloway Council has established a 'Promise Partnership' comprising members from the council, third sector, NHS, D&G college, and others. The purpose of the Partnership is to  lead on the opportunity to make sure every child and family in Dumfries and Galloway has what they need to thrive.

    Members of this group, taking a holistic approach will:

    • Support our children, young people, adults, and families who are care experienced, recognising that experience of care has an effect on people throughout their lives.
    • Support our children, young people, adults and families who we know are at risk of being taking into care, recognising that the right support at the right times will help keep families together and avoid the need for care.
    • Support all our children, young people, adults and families, recognising that if we get the services that everyone uses right then the level of engagement with the care system will be reduced.

    For more information on how we're working to #KeepThePromise in Dumfries and Galloway Council you can browse through these documents.

  • Aberdeenshire Council

    An Aberdeenshire Council children’s rights officer has been recognised for her exemplary work with looked-after children and young people.

    Laura Stewart was presented with the Health Care Rights Award at the Children’s Health Scotland Conference earlier this month.

    In accepting her award, Laura said she had the "best job in the world", adding: “We are a small team who work alongside children and young people, ensuring they know about their rights and that adults uphold these rights.

    “Care-experienced young people attend an awful lot of meetings where adults make decisions that have a huge impact on their lives, which can be full of change. Their rights are at the heart of how I provide support so that they have as much control as possible.”

    To read more about Laura, her work at Aberdeenshire Council and her award please follow this link to the full newspaper article as featured in Grampian Online.

    Aberdeenshire Council's website also contains information on their children’s rights service and, in particular their Young People's Organising and Campaigning group who have a key role in bringing awareness to the issues facing children and young people in care.  The group will continue to work on their campaign on stigma.  They have produced previous campaigns and documents such as the ‘coming into care and moving placements checklist’ which is now used at looked after child reviews when a child is first placed into care or moving to ensure all the necessary supports and work has been done. This was all led by what young people within this group said they feel is important for young people during these periods of change.

    Aberdeenshire are also starting the process of widening the children’s rights service out to ensure young people going through child protection processes have access to similar support.

    East Ayrshire Council

    Since March 2022, Promise Participation Leader, Eoghann MacColl, has been leading weekly art workshops at the Dick Institute. The sessions offer a safe space, in a historic civic building, in which care experienced young people can express themselves creatively through a variety of media, be that drawing, painting, digital imaging, sculpture, creative writing and poetry.
    In the early sessions, care experienced young people were encouraged to engage with Grayson Perry’s touring exhibition ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’ presented by East Ayrshire Leisure. Comprising a series of six tapestries which tell a story about class, taste, aspiration and identity, the young people were encouraged to think through and create their own worlds reflecting their own favourite things, places, landscapes, services and currency.

    Read more about East Ayrshire's 'Delivering The Promise through art' work here.

    South Lanarkshire Council

    Structured Deferred Sentence (SDS) is when we work intensively with the support of partner agencies with young people aged 16-21 who are subject to a period of short-term deferment (normally six months). The SDS pilot began in December 2017 and was recently evaluated by the University of the West of Scotland. The evaluation highlights the approach taken within South Lanarkshire in recent years to better support young people who find themselves in conflict with the law, and who may be at risk of harm. This includes a number of young people who have experience of being looked after and cared for by the local authority. The use of short-term intensive supports and services at an earlier opportunity, following involvement with the justice system, is shown to produce better outcomes for young people. The aim is to utilise a relationship- based approach to address and respond to the key risks and needs identified for the young person, while also focussing on the development of strengths.

    You can read the full evaluation from the University of the West of Scotland here.

    The Highland Council


    To deliver on Plan 21- 24, among other priorities to #KeepthePromise, the Programme Manager (The Promise) in Highland Council has been working with the senior leadership team and elected members to support the development of a Trauma Informed Council. Within ‘Supporting the Workforce’ in Plan 21 – 24, it promotes the importance of a Trauma Informed workforce. As a Trauma Champion (see Welcome Pack for Trauma Champions ( for more info), the Programme manager has had access to support and opportunities to collaborate with the Improvement Service, other national and local Trauma Champions and access to substantial resources within NES Scotland’s National Trauma Training Programme (NTTP).

    You can read more about Highland Council's Trauma Informed Practice Work here.

  • East Dunbartonshire Council

    Given the aims of a Champion’s Board, including empowering care experienced young people to have a voice, build relationships and contribute towards creating change, a priority in our journey to #keepthepromise was to re-launch East Dunbartonshire Champion’s Board.  Since the re-launch in March 2022, young people have consistently met on a fortnightly basis. East Dunbartonshire Champion’s Board currently consists of a core group of 14 young people, aged between 15 & 26, all with care experience.

    You can read more about the re-launched Champions Board here.

    The Champions Board also produce a film called The Vortex which you can watch here..

    Keeping the Promise: Education in East Dunbartonshire

    The East Dunbartonshire Education Promise Implementation group have developed an awareness raising training programme, whereby to date educational central teams, early years heads of centres, and primary/secondary depute head teachers have attended. This programme will continue throughout the year with schools undertaking further development of their own resource for dissemination in their setting.

    Each and Every Child presented to a multi-disciplinary East Dunbartonshire audience in December 2022, around reframing the language used around care experience. 18 establishments attended the presentation, which was also circulated.

    The Youth Development Worker (YDW) programme in East Dunbartonshire schools was created in support of the Care Experienced Children and Young People's Attainment Grant from Scottish Government. By 2022 YDW's were working with 32 care-experienced young people in each of our 8 Secondary schools and one of our additional support needs schools. In August 2022 a pilot began - a care experienced teacher post was created in one of our secondary schools, with the highest number of care-experienced young people.

    A variety of Youth Awards in addition to Prince's Trust accreditation have been achieved across our schools.

    The YDW's have all received a significant range of training to support and facilitate a range of interventions in order to achieve the following outcomes:

    • Overcome barriers to learning
    • Improve health and wellbeing
    • Improve school attendance
    • Improve engagement in learning
    • Raise attainment through recognition of wider learning and achievement
    • Develop skills, including interpersonal skills
    • Develop employability skills / readiness for work
    • Secure positive, sustained destinations

    South Lanarkshire Council

    Locality-based Family Support Hubs were launched on 27th September 2022 across South Lanarkshire, providing whole family support from pregnancy until 18 years. The ambition is that a holistic earlier help approach will reduce the likelihood of problems escalating to care and protection proceedings by providing earlier, more preventative, strengths-based help and support to families who have been referred to social work by partner agencies or reached out to social work for support themselves. The family support Hubs will work alongside families to determine what could prevent difficulties escalating. Families will be supported to utilise resources already within the family and communities and, if required, can also be provided with targeted support from social work family support services. The initial findings are that the Family Support Hubs have been able to divert 60% of new referrals to social work away from statutory child and family teams.  Children’s First are co-located with the Family Support Hubs and can provide Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) to families who are at risk of problems escalating. This will ensure families have opportunities to decide their own plans and services and are more likely to intervene with families who have identified a need for this. Peer support workers with lived experience have recently been recruited and are based within each of the hubs to provide responsive support to parents. The Hubs have links to resources offered by health, education and third sector. An Earlier Help Forum has been established for families at risk of problems escalating. This forum brings together partners to consider the needs and risks for families and agree targeted multi agency plans using partnership resources already available or by working together to address any gaps. The hubs will deliver Accredited parenting programmes facilitated by multi-agency partners, engagement parenting groups, alternative therapies, financial maximisation and are breastfeeding friendly spaces. Trauma informed practice is a priority, and a trauma recovery therapist will be aligned to the family support hubs to ensure families can access this specialist intervention before the situation has escalated.  A reflective practice Reflective Practice co-ordinator will also be aligned to Family Support Hubs to support staff wellbeing and strengthen their ability to be reflective, trauma informed practitioners.

    SLC also published their Champions Board newsletter in December 2022 which outlines some of their great work.

    Glasgow City Council

    Glasgow City HSCP launched a Strategic Review of 16+ Accommodation and Support Services on the 27th September 2022. We strive to ensure that 16+ Accommodation and Support Services meet the needs of all of Glasgow’s young people. Our vision is to support young people to maintain stability and security to enable them to flourish and meet their potential.

    The Promise Scotland and Glasgow’s Promise are the leading Strategic drivers for the review. The Promise advised that many young people felt ill prepared as they moved from Childhood to Adulthood and we have a responsibility to ensure this changes and that young people are supported at this very important stage in their lives.

    We are working alongside The Promise and following the Scottish Approach to Service Design (SAtSD), which is a co-production and collaboration model.  We will work in collaboration with our 3rd sectors partners, stakeholders, and young people to explore and discover what the challenges are and together define the solution. Glasgow HSCP have recruited four Promise Participation Workers to support with our commitment to the Promise. One worker or perhaps two will have a specific role in the 16+ review to assist us in ensuring meaningful engagement and participation with young people.

    We have held our initial launch events with the 3rd sector and relevant Social Work staff. We are currently gathering information in relation to the needs of the young people that are currently using our 16+ services and we are now in a period of planning  for our next phase.

    Young people’s participation will run throughout the review, and we want to start by asking young people to complete a simple survey. We have discussed directly with social work staff and asked that they complete the survey with young people who are  accessing 16+ accommodation and support services. This survey will shortly be ready to go live. We have launched the review on Glasgow HSCP website and social media platforms and attached a survey to target young people who are no longer working with social work.

    Hamid Habibi was commissioned by Glasgow to create a poster that will be our branding throughout the review. We have had great support from Glasgow’s Colleges and Universities who are displaying the poster and issuing flyers for us. This link will also take you directly to the survey.

    We are all excited and looking forward to the opportunities and progress ahead.

    East Ayrshire Council

    The Health and Social Care Partnership's Living Well website features information on their Promise Oversight Group, the partnerships priorities to #KeepThePromise and a showcase of some of the work they are doing with their care experienced children and young people; from their ArtClub to their Pathfinder Project.  You can read it all here.

    Renfrewshire Council

    To ensure that we #KeepThePromise across Renfrewshire, we have been recruiting Promise Keepers from a wide range of staff teams and services.

    Promise Keepers act as local champions for The Promise in their roles and ensure that it remains at the forefront of service design and delivery moving forwards, as well as actioning key recommendations from the Independent Care Review. They will do this in a range of ways, such as presenting at team meetings, sharing The Promise with their colleagues, and reviewing the language used in their service.

    We launched this project in August 2021 and have recently surpassed 100 Promise Keepers from across the local authority. This is a diverse group, with representation from social work, elected members, health and third-sector organisations in Renfrewshire. We have also expanded this opportunity to foster carers and volunteers from the third sector.

    We are constantly looking for opportunities to expand our network, aiming to have at least one Promise Keeper from all teams and services across the local authority. This emphasises that it is everyone’s responsibility to #KeepThePromise, and it is essential that staff can support each other to meet this goal.

    We have seen some fantastic examples of commitment within the network, with our Fostering and Adoption Team taking a whole team approach, whereby every member of their team is a Promise Keeper.

    The Process 

    There is a formal application process for Promise Keepers to ensure that staff are enthusiastic and committed to the role. All Promise Keepers must fill out a short application form to outline their interest in the role and explain what The Promise means to them.

    All Promise Keepers will receive relevant training and development opportunities and access to a supportive wider network to encourage collaboration and partnership working across services in the local authority. The training allows all Promise Keepers to have a baseline understanding of The Promise and equips them with the resources and knowledge they need in their roles.

    If you are interested in signing up to be a Promise Keeper or would like some more information about what is involved, please get in touch with Sam Macrae (Promise Ambassador)

    Dundee  City Council

    The Dundee Partnership's Promise is to  ensure that Care Experienced Children and Young People have the very best support, life chances and opportunities possible so they can lead loving, settled and fulfilled lives well into adulthood.

    As a partnership, we are committed to promoting the wellbeing and rights of all vulnerable and looked after children, young people and care leavers as one of our most important responsibilities. In doing so, we will provide the highest quality care, support and protection which:

    • Helps all vulnerable children, young people and parents/carers to flourish
    • Enables care experienced children and young people to thrive at home
    • Improves educational attainment levels and all transitions into adulthood
    • Listens to family voices and continually adapts and improves our support.

    You can read Dundee Partnership's Promise in full here.

    In October 2022, Dundee City Council produced an annual report on their progress towards #Keeping The Promise.  This was discussed at their Children and Families Service Committee.  You can read the report here.

    North Ayrshire Council

    On 4th November 2022 North Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership held their first Promise Conference with over 130 delegates from across a range of Community Planning Partners, Government officials, Carers and Care Experienced Young People. Of the 130 delegates, 23 were carers and care experienced young people. The conference was facilitated by two care experienced young people who chaired throughout the day.

    The format followed a pattern of various speakers followed by table discussions and a panel session. Speakers included the two young hosts, the Minister for Children and Young People, CEO of the Promise Scotland, CEO of Children 1st, and our Democracy and participation officer.

    Care Experienced young people met with North Ayrshires Corporate Parenting Team and were supported in coming up with questions for a question-and-answer session. There were seventeen questions formulated with five questions asked by the young people on the day.  All other questions received a written reply

    The Question and Answer panel consisted of the Chief Executive of North Ayrshire Council, Deputy Leader of North Ayrshire Council, Chief Social Work Officer, Executive Director of Education and Communities and a Senior Manager from CAMHS.

    The target audience for this conference were senior leaders and care experienced young people with the aim of them coming together to discuss selected themes which included: 1)Increase everyone’s understanding of each other’s roles and experiences in relation to The Promise; 2)Listen and act on the voice of young people; and 3)Commit to change.

    The themes selected for the conference were: 1) Relationships 2) Voice and the UNCRC, and 3) Whole Family Support. Seven questions were posed to delegates throughout the day as well as a question-and-answer session.

    Each table had a young person(s) at the table to listen and express their views. The comments of all delegates have been collated but extra emphasis was placed on the young people’s comments which were collected on the day by a graphic illustrator.

    Inverclyde Council

    Partnership working to Keep The Promise -  Inverclyde HSCP & Education

    Our I promise team and Virtual School Head Teacher have been travelling across Inverclyde’s 26 schools in order to share the work of The Promise and to focus on the 5 main education calls to action which include: no barriers to engagement in education, school improvement plans to ensure they are valuing and recognising the needs of theirs care experienced pupils, reducing formal and informal exclusions, positive destinations and full participation in subjects and extracurricular activities.

    Implementation plans & Co-production

    Our implementation planning continues as discussed at our 1st I Promise Board meeting which was chaired by our Chief Executive and our young people.  Our Promise Practitioner forum was also held last month which was attended by all partner agencies with a focus on evaluating where we are at with Plan 21-24 and our 80 calls to action.

    We have co-produced our wellbeing assessments after listening to over 500 of the workforce and our children/young people/families.  We created a working group and co-produced our new paperwork with our Proud2Care young people and our I Promise Modern Apprentice who have all provided great insight.

    Children’s Hearings

    We need to facilitate child friendly hearings that uphold children and young people’s rights and better supports and encourages their participation.  Our I Promise in Hearings Working Group has been listening to children and young people to work together to deliver change. In April we will launch our young people produced I Promise Hearings Film and communication toolkit. The group will continue to work together to deliver on their action plan of change #stillLotsToDO


    The language of care must change to be easily understood, be positive and must not stigmatise. Our #Proud2Care young people have developed a Language Matters Guide and Film that Inverclyde has rolled out as a workforce resource #WeWillKeepThePromise #WeMustListen&Respond   Children — Your Voice

    It is fundamental that the workforce use the terms, names and words that the child or young person prefers, when describing issues that relate to their lives and experiences. #StillLotsToDo

  • North Lanarkshire Council

    North Lanarkshire’s commitment to care experienced children, young people and their families was the focus of our first Promise conference 3 February 2023 which highlighted achievements to date and outlined future areas of development. Over 200 people from a range of organisations gathered to share and learn ways in which the council and partner organisations fulfil their promise that care experienced children, young people and their families grow up loved, safe and respected to fulfil their full potential.

    Delegates heard from a range of speakers about North Lanarkshire’s journey to ‘Building a Promise Community’, including:

    • The Journey - Care Review to The Promise
    • National direction and learning
    • Resilience is built in relationships (perspective from lived experience)
    • Up2U Family Practice Model
    • The foundation of relationships
    • The aftercare hub and development of a new aftercare website
    • Creative Arts composing a song reflecting participants' commitment to delivering The Promise for children, young people and their families.

    There were a number of workshops throughout the day to highlighting some of the local developments in practice, such as, Housing Pathways, Family Support, Lifelong Links, community safety, Health and wellbeing and virtual school. Links to some of the material presented:

    Family Support - North Lanarkshire Council

    FGDM - North Lanarkshire Council

    Lifelong Links - North Lanarkshire Council

    In March 2021 North Lanarkshire Council established The Promise Team to improve and develop how services are accessed by care experienced young people. The team members work alongside council services and partner organisations, the care experienced young people participation groups, the Champions Board and The NL Promise Partnership Steering Group to support the partnership #KeepThePromise.  The NL Champs Board Annual Report 2022 provides details of many achievements over the last year: NL Champs Board Annual Report 2022

    Falkirk Council


    As a responsible Falkirk Council Family and Friend (Corporate Parent), Falkirk recruited a Modern Apprentice – Keeping The Promise Trainee Officer, who would achieve an SVQ in Business Admin.  A prerequisite for the post was that applicants had to be care experienced : firstly to allow the workforce to benefit from the successful applicant’s insight into the care system and secondly, this is an example of Falkirk being a responsive Corporate Parent in supporting ’one of our own’, whilst also fulfilling our commitment to develop our young workforce.    Sitting alongside the Promise Training Officer as the mentor, a trauma informed and relationship based approach was taken as we were aware that the Modern Apprentice may have additional support needs and would therefore would need help and support to allow them to be successful in their post.   This approach has paid dividends in providing a supportive, learning environment.


    New Click & Connect format allowing staff to access online Learning & Development for understanding #KeepingThePromise & Corporate Parenting.

    A ‘Click and Connect’ flexible approach to accessing Learning Sessions was piloted across our multi-agency partners.  Its success was measured through the number of staff sessions delivered, the number of attendees and the measured increase in their knowledge and understanding.   To date over 400 staff attended the learning sessions.   Our multi-agency workforce who have attended Keeping The Promise & Corporate Parenting Learning Sessions has included Accountants, Administrator, Art Therapist, ASN Advisor, Bricklayers, Building Operations Supervisors, Child Care Review Coordinators, Childminders,  Communication Officer, Community Education Worker, Community Learning Development Worker, Corporate Finance Officer, Early Years Officers,  Educational Psychologists, Electricians, Family Support Workers (Third Sector), Fire Fighters, Foster Carers, Head Teachers, Head of Early Years Centres, Health Visitors, High School Teachers, Housing Officers, Human Resources, Inclusion Officer, Information Governance staff, Janitors, Labourer, Mental Health Officers,  Mental Health Project Worker, Painters,  Perinatal Workers, Plasterers, Plumbers,  Primary School Teachers, Prison staff,  School Nurses, Slaters, Social Workers, Social Work Assistant, Solicitors, Substance Use Workers, Support for Learning Assistants, SVQ Assessors (Adult Social Care), Teacher for the Deaf,  Teacher for visually Impaired, Technical Assistant, Training Officers (Social Work), Training Co-ordinator (Adult Support & Protection),  Travelling Persons Officer, Workforce Development Manager, Youth Workers.


    Thanks to the hard work of staff within our Children & Families team The Lodge in Glasgow Road, Camelon has had a bit of a make-over.

    Working with a budget of £10,000, new flooring, painting, furnishings and general maintenance was carried out throughout the building which will now be used by care experienced brothers and sisters to spend quality time together in a homely setting.

    While the priority is for brothers and sisters to stay together, it’s not always possible but The Lodge will now provide an opportunity for emotional bonds and connections to be maintained and grown with regular meetups in the warm, safe, setting.

    Whether it’s cosying up on the sofa watching a film, playing games or enjoying a meal together, there’s something to suit all age groups.

    Sharon Laing, Service Manager said: “The Lodge is part of our commitment to Keeping the Promise. Having a dedicated space for brothers and sisters to meet is important and will make sure that when they are unable to live together their special bond is nurtured.

    “The Justice Community payback team carried out all the painting and our staff pulled out all the stops in making this a lovely space for everyone to enjoy and feel comfortable in.  Young people were also involved in selecting items for The Lodge to make sure it was cosy and homely.”

    Stirling Council


    Six siblings in Stirling found themselves on the Child Protection Register amid concerns around neglect, domestic abuse and parental mental health issues.

    The oldest two children, in their late teens, were not in education, employment or training, two of the other children had diagnosed learning disabilities and the two youngest missed more schooling than their peers.

    Health issues included recurring head lice, missed medical appointments, sleep issues, gaps in immunisation, as well as a general lack of hygiene.

    Stirling Council and its agency partners intervened and provided intensive support from a variety of services.

    The family was provided with intensive in-home support, new furniture, and school and winter clothing to ensure the children’s basic needs were met and their emotional distress was minimised.

    After nearly two-and-a-half years of intensive child protection plans, there was a notable change to the children’s circumstances, leading to prolonged periods of improvement. This resulted in de-registration from the Child Protection Register.

    It has taken time, but with Stirling Council and its partners working in partnership with the whole family to counter chronic neglect, the health, confidence and self-esteem of the children has improved.

    Using the framework of The Promise, they have avoided the this large sibling group becoming accommodated and looked after away from home – and all the further trauma and negative outcomes that would have created.

  • Renfrewshire Council

    Renfrewshire Council’s Language Policy created with Care Experienced young people and Promise Keepers

    The Renfrewshire Language Policy has been launched in April and was created through consultation with Care Experienced young people and staff from the Promise Keeper network around words they felt were negative or stigmatising. The Language Policy is a set of guidelines for how we speak about and describe Care Experience and Care Experienced children and young people. This language will continue to evolve, and services and organisations are encouraged to review their language. The policy will help us move away from overly professionalised words and phrases to adopt person-centred language, which challenges existing stigma. Staff across all services at Renfrewshire Council have been asked to consider the impact of our language when engaging with children, young people and their families and modify it where possible.

    Read more about Renfrewshire's work on their Language Policy here.

    East Ayrshire Council

    ArtClub? meets in Kilmarnock and Cumnock and is a space for care experienced young people to find their voice, share ideas and be creative.  Their inaugural exhibition takes place on Thursday 4th May and the Dick Institute in Kilmarnock.  Read more here.

  • How Renfrewshire Council are Keeping The Promise

    Network of Promise Keepers currently with around 147 members including colleagues from the council, Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and other partners.

    A Self-Evaluation Toolkit to them identify what's working well, and what can be improved or changed while identifying learning opportunities.

    A new Language Policy to be shared in the coming weeks. Language is an integral part of The Promise, and this policy will help all Promise Keepers talk in a more positive way. It outlines guidance for acceptable and positive language use across the council and provides non-stigmatising words and phrases that have been identified through consultation with Care Experienced people and relevant staff.

    Renfrewshire Council's Promise Manager, Maurice Gilligan, said:

    "It's crucial that all council colleagues and our partners know what [The Promise] is and understand their role. That's why I have been committed to reinforcing this message so that it is always considered and reflected in our organisation and operational strategic planning."

    North Ayrshire's Care Experienced Youth Joint Cabinet

    In June 2023, North Ayrshire Council held Care Experienced Youth Joint Cabinet, seeing over 60 young people, with different backgrounds and experiences of care, join cabinet members, senior managers and head of services of the council to engage in key discussions.

    They looked at 10 different types of support, and asked young people to bid on the support most important to them in a priority auction. This was eye-opening, particularly for the staff in the room. Responses are being themed, and a report and subsequent action plan will be created, so we can continue to #KeepThePromise.

    More information can be found at North Ayrshire Council holds joint cabinet for care-experienced youths | Irvine Times or Council hosts first-ever Youth Joint Cabinet for care experienced young people (

  • Glasgow City Council

    Glasgow’s Intensive Family Support Service (GIFSS) is an integrated model delivering a strength-based approach to working alongside families though their Framework for Practice (FFP). It is entirely aligned to Glasgow's Family Support Strategy 20/23 and the key values and principles outlined within "The Promise". Utilising our FFP and working alongside families, Glasgow has seen a continued decreased in our Young People aged 12+ being admitted into statutory care. GIFSS works with the whole family regardless of age and currently support 147 of our most vulnerable families across the city. 70% of our Young People who received the service were supported to remain at home with their families.

    Renfrewshire Council

    Renfrewshire Children’s Services Partners has identified 11 high level aims that guide our activity over the next three years. The RCSP has identified three priority high level aims that will be addressed in year 1 of the plan. Working together to provide support to children and families at the earliest possible stage, as part of our commitment to The Promise is one of those three priority high level aims.

    Prevention and early intervention are a major driver of our work. We know that investing time to meet an individual’s needs as early as possible in their journey often stops their challenges becoming more severe. As partners, we’re committed to working together to provide support to children and families at the earliest possible stage, as part of our commitment to The Promise. In year 1 of this plan, we will further embed the principles of love, nurture and relationships in our work with care experienced young people and their families and carers, and ensure our partners are aware of our collective responsibility and accountability to deliver positive outcomes for our children and young people’s lives.


    Falkirk Council and Falkirk Champions Board (Falkirk Champs)

    Three members of the Falkirk Champions Board (Falkirk Champs) attended a Council meeting of Elected Members to make the case for care experience to become a protected characteristic. The young people involved shared evidence from their own experiences to challenge perceptions and as a medium to discuss the quality of care and care systems they had experienced.

    Elected Members unanimously voted to recognise care experience as a protected characteristic. Falkirk Council were only the third Council in Scotland to declare care experience as a protected characteristic. They were the first Council to do this due to young people bringing the motion themselves to Committee.

    After the decision, one of the young people involved said:

    “I felt really nervous and out of breath, you can hear it in my voice. I was speaking for so many other voices but I felt powerful, heard and supported. I’ve been told by many how it’s an amazing achievement and I appreciate it but it doesn’t feel as good as when the care experienced adults and friends in my life tell me how much this means to them.

    “One person even told me how the changes Falkirk Champs are helping to make “heals my inner child ". I think that statement alone made me realise how much of a big deal this actually is.”

    You can find out more here: Employee news - Falkirk Council votes to recognise care experience as protected characteristic | Falkirk Council

  • Glasgow City Council

    Glasgow City HSCP launched a Strategic Review of our Young People’s Accommodation and Support Services on the 27th September 2022. We strive to ensure that our accommodation and support services meet the needs of all of Glasgow’s young people. Our vision is to support young people to maintain stability and security to enable them to flourish and meet their potential.

    The Promise Scotland and Glasgow’s Promise are the leading strategic drivers for the review. The Independent Care Review and the Promise told us that many young people felt ill prepared as they moved from childhood to adulthood and we have a responsibility to ensure this changes and that young people are supported at this very important stage in their lives.

    Two of our Promise Participation Workers, Sam and Chizy, have been part of the re-design team reviewing our support and accommodation options for care experienced young people who are ready to move on from where they live. This includes looking at our processes around this, what this means to young people, and how they can be more involved in options and decisions that affect them. Over the last 6 months, they have visited all of our accommodation providers, and talked with young people living there about their experiences, how they feel about where they live, the support available to them and what would they like to us to do to make things better for young people with lived experienced right now. Young people have responded well to them and have been able to share their views with them, telling them what support works well  and what hasn’t. Some young people have spoken to their social workers about meeting with Sam and Chizy and how this has been a positive experience for them. Some have said that they have felt inspired given Sam and Chizy have also experienced care and are now Promise Participation Workers and supporting young people. They feel they can trust them because of this, feel listened to, and that their voice really does have influence.

    What young people tell Sam and Chizy will absolutely shape how we work with our third sector partners to design our services going forward. This review is about our young people, for our young people and with our young people.

    We are working alongside The Promise Design School and following the Scottish Approach to Service Design (SAtSD), which is a co-production and collaboration model.  We will work together with our 3rd sectors partners, stakeholders, and young people to explore and discover what the challenges are and together define the solution.

    A young person was commissioned by us to create a poster that is our branding throughout the review and a QR code is attached to encourage participation. We hope to reach as many young people as possible. We are all excited and looking forward to the opportunities and progress ahead.

    Our Promise Participation Workers have changed how we do things in Glasgow – for the better. We can’t and won’t change now how we support Glasgow’s children, young people and their families without their influence.

    East Lothian Council

    East Lothian council has been placing Voice at the heart of its development work for that last few years and particularly around the Transforming Services For Children Programme, which started in 2021. The Transforming Service for Children Programme reflects and responds to the Promise Plan 21-24 with the view to better respond to the needs of children and their families living within East Lothian.

    The re-design of services for children and families has been heavily influenced by Partners in Re-design ( a short life working group of parents and carers with lived experience of children’s services), East Lothian Champions Board and care experienced adults.  This expertise of knowledge and understanding has been crucial for the development of the work and will continue to do so until the Transforming Services for Children Programme is in completion.

    As many parts of East Lothian Council are engaging with children and their families an East Lothian Council-wide  Participation with Lived Experience working group has been created alongside, in collaboration with the third sector, East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership and NHS Lothian population health directorate. The purpose of this group is to ensure East Lothian as a county has a shared understanding of participation and consistent approach.

    In addition to the strategic approach to engaging with children and their families, East Lothian Council has employed two participation officers as part of the Whole Family Well-Being work to better understand services used by children and their families. Taking a double diamond participation approach, test of change work will influence and shape service delivery within two identified wards and is currently in its discovery stage.

    What’s next?

    East Lothian Council and its partners are on a journey to better work with the voice of children, young people and their families and the following highlights some of the work currently happing within the council and alongside partners.

    Children’s Services &Education

    • Test of change lived experience involvement in recruitment for children and adult services. Recommendations and policy to be rolled out in both departments.
    • Participation with Care Experienced adults helped shape East Lothian Council’s understanding and definition of Early Intervention. The council is  now using this definition.
    • Education explored the experiences of  equity within schools, speaking to parents, carers and children themselves. The outcome will further influence the response to need within the educational setting which links to the anti- poverty agenda.

    Whole Family Well-Being

    • Piloting focus groups with people who might use the service taking a Scottish approach to design, participation approach to better understand and then test out change.
    • Targeted engagement session around family support and early intervention, community services – what they use, what’s missing, barriers, their experience of the group. If they are interested in similar engagement could they continue? This is the discovery stage of the work.

    Poverty Plan

    • In-person consultations across East Lothian, joint sessions with other services, broadly around the Place Standard Tool, will be used to inform variety of place planning and strategies.

    Lived experience group, Working for Change Collective

    A partnership between NHS Population Health ( East Lothian),  East Lothian council, Pennypit and East Lothian Foodbank.

    • The Collective is actively recruiting and taking on more members.  The group membership is currently parents and young people living in the area who have lived experience of poverty.  Their work will  feed into The Network for  change which is hosted at Volunteering Centre East Lothian (VCEL)

    Community Justice

    • Social Work engagement with adults on Community Payback Orders, as different communities wanting to provide CPO opportunities more meaningfully.
    • Community Justice will be moving to co-design a project between Heavy Sound, partners and lived experience group to ensure we will be putting together a project for meaningful engagement.

    Connected Communities

    • Supporting Scottish Youth Parliament on youth travel consultation in response to widespread criticism of young people behaviour on buses.   There will be a reframing of messaging on how to make young people safe on buses.  Feedback loop will use Tik Tok to spread this message.


    • East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership are engaging with a wide range of children, young people and their families to sense check the Independent Advocacy strategy and further develop gaps with Independent Advocacy provision within East Lothian.

    Corporate Parenting Plans and Children Services Plan.

    • We have worked with children, young people and workers/ services to help shape the CSP and Corporate Parenting plan 23-26 . Alongside this piece of work East Lothian Council is  looking at how children’s voice can ensure the implementation of the plans are delivered.

    Area Partnership  Plan consultation

    • As part of the Area Partnership consultations some wards have used the Promise fundamentals to inform the questions, particularly around poverty, children and young people’s rights and what matters to families.