Ruth Maguire MSP has welcomed the development of new national standards for secure care which sets out what support children should expect from professionals when in the community or secure care.
The Secure Care Pathway and Standards Scotland ensure support is provided before, during and after care and that the rights of children and young people, facing extreme vulnerabilities and risks in their lives, are respected.
Once implemented, the new standards will deliver a consistent, unified approach to caring for this vulnerable group in all council areas.
Children and young people in care and with experience of care were involved in developing the standards along with secure care staff, local government and the Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ).
The SNP MSP for Cunninghame South said: “The experience of going into care is an upsetting time for children. The implementation of the Secure Care Pathway Standards allow children affected to put their thoughts and feelings across to make the process less distressing.
“The lived experience of children and young people who are or have been in care has shaped the development of these new standards which ensure that the child’s perspective of their environment is given due consideration and is compassionate to their needs.
“Furthermore, this upholds their rights in line with the Scottish Government’s commitment to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children and young people in Scotland are rightly empowered to have input onto decisions which affect their lives.”
Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd said: “The standards are fully co-produced by young people living in secure care and those with care experience and are written from the child’s perspective to ensure young people’s voices are heard, their rights are adhered to and they are treated with respect.
“The standards reinforce our commitment to the Scottish Government’s Getting it Right for Every Child policy, supporting the incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the important asks of the Independent Care Review Promise published earlier this year. Above all our young people must feel safe, loved and cared for in a compassionate nurturing environment.”
Beth-Anne Logan, a care experienced young person, who has been involved in developing the standards said: “These standards are critically important as they show both professionals working in the sector and young people and their families what standard of care, they should expect to have should they enter secure care. They focus on the child’s journey before, during and after secure care and how that should look and feel.
“Growing up in secure care, we wish we had a tool such as the standards to help us know our rights and what to expect off the people caring for us as secure can be a scary place sometimes – especially when you first move in there. These standards should be a beacon of hope and we should all be striving for the best care possible for Scotland’s children.”