The Promise Scotland

Swiis are committed to #KeepThePromise. Swiis will do everything we can to ensure that all care experienced children and young people grow up feeling loved and respected in a safe family home.

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What Is The Promise?

In October 2016, Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, promised care experienced people that Scotland would do better. She said Scotland would come together and love its most vulnerable children and give them the childhood they deserve.

Nicola Sturgeon set up the Independent Care Review, which listened to 5500 people’s experiences. More than half of these were children, young people and adults who had experience of the ‘care system’ and the remaining voices were from the paid and unpaid workforce.

It was clear that lots of children and young people had felt loved and cared about, but many others said that growing up in the care system was one of the most traumatising experiences they had ever had. The message was that we can and must do better for these children and The Promise was created.

The Promise is a commitment to care for experienced children and young people so that they will grow up loved, safe and respected.

A 10-year plan was created to #KeepThePromise and it is built on 5 foundations.

The 5 Foundations of The Promise

Voice Promise

Voice promise

Giving Children and Young People a Voice

When children speak, adults must really listen to them. Adults must make sure that children are included in decisions about their lives.

Family Promise

Family Promise

Keeping Children with Their Family

If children are living with their family and are safe and feel loved, they should stay there. Their family should be given all the help they need to stay together. If they need extra help when things get difficult, they should get it.

Care Promise

Care Promise

Keeping Brothers and Sisters Together

If children cannot stay with the adults in their family, they will stay with their brothers and sisters. The home they live in together will be a place where they feel safe and loved. It should be their home for as long as they want and need it to be.

People Promise

People Promise

Helping Children to Have Relationships with People Who Are Important to Them

Scotland must make sure children live in places that are safe and caring with people who love them. Children should not be moved about. They should stay in one place so they can make friends and go to the same school right through their childhood.

Scaffolding Promise

Scaffolding Promise

Adults Who Are Caring For Children, Must Get the Help and Support They Need

Relationships are important. Adults must make sure children are able to stay close to the people they want to and stay connected with them. Adults must also help children make new relationships as they grow up. Sometimes adults need some help too. The adults who are close to children must get the help they need to make sure they can do their best for children.

What is Swiis Foster Care Scotland doing to #KeepThePromise

The principles underpinning The Promise are not new to Swiis and they very much align with our core values of caring, understanding, honesty, commitment, exceptional and respect.

The Promise has however given us renewed focus. Swiis have created our own action plan with a designated lead person driving this forward. Here are some of the ways we #KeepThePromise.

  • When we make decisions, we always consider how these decisions will affect a particular child or young person and we always want to hear what they have to say about this. We do this by building trusting relationships, meeting with them regularly and giving them opportunities to share their views in the way that best suits them. We have a full calendar of events and activities for children and young people to get involved in and they are also offered the opportunity to develop new confidence and gain accredited awards in the process.
  • Swiis have created Young Champions Groups where children and young people get together and talk about what Swiis do and what we can do better. We listen to what they say and act upon their suggestions. Our Young Champions have created questions that are asked of prospective foster carers to make sure we are approving people who will provide them with the loving care they deserve.
  • Swiis have heard that the language that some people use when talking about children and young people who are care experienced makes them feel ashamed and very different. We are working very hard to change our language to make sure that children and young people being cared for by Swiis carers, do not feel this stigma. We have given our carers, our staff and panel members comprehensive training to change this language and reviewed our policies and procedures too.
  • Swiis have heard how important it is for children and young people to live with their brothers and sisters and where possible, we support our carers to be able to care for sibling groups and where this is not possible, we do all we can to support the children and young people to keep in touch with the people that are important to them.

Providing the carers with the support they need to #KeepThePromise is our top priority. We do this in a variety of ways. Each carer has an allocated Supervising Social Worker who meets them monthly as a minimum and more if this is needed. There is also a range of other supports available including:

  • A jampacked training calendar that carers can access to ensure they have the knowledge and skills they need to feel confident in the care they are providing. We have introduced 2 sessions – Introduction to the Promise and Mind Your Language for our carers, staff and panel members and a separate session for those interested in fostering.
  • A 24/7 on-call support service so our foster carers are never left alone and unsupported.
  • Short breaks where the children and young people are cared for by another familiar adult to allow you to have a well-deserved break.
  • Involvement Officers and Resource Workers supporting children and young people directly.
  • Therapeutic Support and Intervention as and when this is needed and agreed.
  • A dedicated Behaviour Management Team to provide advice, support and strategies if the child or young person is behaving in a way that you find challenging.
  • A buddy system. When you are a new carer, having a more experienced carer by your side can make all the difference.
  • Carers support groups.
  • Therapeutic parenting groups.
  • Informal events and activities such as pamper days and afternoon teas.
Sam Arnott - Swiis Foster Care Scotland Director

“We are proud to uphold and incorporate the ideas of The Promise into Swiis Foster Care Scotland. The main foundations of The Promise align closely with Swiis’s own core values. This enables Swiis to not only keep The Promise, but to also ensure we are providing every young person with a safe and happy environment in which they can feel supported and have their voices heard.”

Sam Arnott - Swiis Foster Care Scotland Director

Pledges From Swiis Foster Care Staff, Independent Social Workers and Foster Carers

Swiis is dedicated to ensuring that we #KeepThePromise and provide our children and young people with a happy, supported and safe environment. Below is a selection of pledges made by the Swiis team, our independent social workers and Swiis foster carers.

“I pledge to support, nurture, care and love all and any children that come through our doors. We promise to listen, learn and help these children in any way they need and the way they deserve to be heard. We will continuously be there and hold their hands through all the good and all the bad and give them the key structures to help them manage each day at a time.”

“I pledge to keep the promise by actively listening, and genuinely caring and nurturing unconditionally all children of whom I am in contact.”

“I pledge to keep The Promise by trying to keep the aims of The Promise uppermost in my mind so that Scotland really is ‘be the best place in the world to grow up’ and so that children are ‘loved’. I will do this by trying to support the carers and young people that I work with, as best as I can and by being honest, upfront and doing everything that I can to meet The Promise.”

“I pledge to try my utmost to consider and uphold all aspects of The Promise in my daily practice. I will encourage and support the carers I supervise to do this through reflective supervision. I also pledge to support my carers to reflect and support YP in a holistic manner in the 5 aspects of The Promise- Voice, Family, Care, People and Scaffolding.”

“I pledge to do treat every care-experienced young person as an individual and do all that I can to help them feel no different to their peers, encouraging and facilitating relationships with birth families, friends, foster families and the communities in which they live.”

“Swiis are forward-thinking in their approach to implementing the ideas and ideals of The Promise, not least in ensuring that meaningful, loving relationships are encouraged and sustained, and by supporting siblings to stay together. They have also introduced some excellent training resources for carers and staff, helping them navigate change and reduce the impact of stigmatising language.”

Start Your Fostering Journey

With thousands of children coming into foster care in the UK everyday, we urgently need foster carers more than ever.

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Refer a Friend

Do you know anyone who would be a fantastic foster carer who has the skills and compassion to support a child or young person in need of a loving home?

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