Blog: Let’s celebrate our amazing young people this year

By Gemma Watson, Involvement AdviserGemma

Happy New Year everyone! This year, we have extra cause for celebration because 2018 is Year of Young People.

The calendar of events over the next 12 months aims to inspire Scotland through its young people, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contribution to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine. It’s all about inspiring our nation through its young people’s ideas, attitudes and ambitions.

 For us in the Care Inspectorate, it is an opportunity to celebrate the amazing young people who work with us to help make sure other young people and children are experiencing the best possible care.

As Involvement Adviser, I work closely with our 13 Young Inspection Volunteers. They are specially trained people aged 18–26, who themselves have experience of care. Most have lived in foster care, residential houses or with extended family in a formal kinship care arrangement. Some have used aftercare support, disability services or experienced homelessness. They join our inspections of care for children and children’s services, bringing their experience and understanding to the table, and helping to assess the quality of care.

The Young Inspection Volunteers offer us really valuable insights as they can look at services through the lens of a young person and not a professional, and they often ask practical and challenging questions during inspections.

Involving young people in this way places their experiences and personal expertise at the heart of our work. Young Inspection Volunteers can tell us a lot about how children and young people experience care and the difference it makes to them.

Children and young people often feel they can talk more freely to another young person than they can to an adult. So, Young Inspection Volunteers play a vital role in working with the inspectors, making sure that the concerns of young people are understood and taken seriously.

Our Young Inspection Volunteers do an amazing job. For example, we have recently completed a five-year programme of joint inspections across all 32 local authority areas in Scotland, examining how well different organisations such as social work, health, education and the police are working together in local areas to improve children’s lives. Our team of Young Inspection Volunteers has contributed to every joint inspection since 2012, in every part of Scotland.

I think 2018 will give young people in Scotland the opportunity to show the world what they’re made of. Here at the Care Inspectorate, we’re embracing this opportunity. Over the next 12 months, you’ll be hearing a lot more from the young people who work with us and we’ll be spreading the word with #YOYP2018.

If you’re interested in becoming a Young Inspection Volunteer, you can find more information on the Care Inspectorate website. We’re also happy to answer any questions you may have, just email the Involvement team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 01382 207142.