News In Focus
Foundation head to chair child care review
Chief executive of Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, Fiona Duncan, has been named as head of the independent root and branch review of the child care system in Scotland.
The review, which begins in the wake of news that three children in state care have died since the new year, will look at the underpinning legislation, practices, culture and ethos of the care system. It will be supported by the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS), at the University of Strathclyde.
Ms Duncan, who has worked in the voluntary sector for over 20 years, also brings personal experience of a chaotic childhood in which her adoptive parents struggled with alcoholism and her father was diagnosed with mental health issues.
At Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland she had brought a focus on supporting communities to drive lasting change in systems, practice and culture, including a project focusing on the rights and voices of children and young people affected by substance misuse. Among other positions she has also worked with a consultancy dedicated to not for profit assignments, mainly overseas, and as director of external affairs for Capability Scotland.
Confirming the appointment, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon commented: "We cannot – and must not – ignore the reality for too many children who grow up in care. Only 4% go to university, nearly half will suffer mental health issues, almost one third will become homeless – and perhaps most shocking of all, a young person who has been in care is more likely to be dead by age 21.
"These statistics – which tell the story of real lives – are simply not acceptable. As First Minister, I am determined that we act now to change the course for the young people who depend on us to make sure they enjoy safe, fulfilling, secure and loving childhoods."
She added that the review would be "driven and shaped by care experienced young people themselves".
Ms Duncan said: "While the review will be complex and the issues challenging, it will be the expertise of children and young people with lived experience of the system who will ensure a focus on what matters. It will be crucial that the review not only hears their voices, but that real change happens as a result.”