Update - June 2024

What we have been doing since our last briefing in January 2024 

We have continued to work alongside the four areas that came forward to be part of more detailed work: 

  • Aberdeen city 
  • Dundee city
  • Dumfries and Galloway 
  • Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles) 

In January we reviewed a sample of children’s social work’s records. Across the four areas we read a total of 117 records. This helped us to better understand the effectiveness of children’s assessments, plans and reviews in ensuring children received the help they needed at the right time.     

Between February and March, we visited each of the four areas and met with children, young people, their families, carers and the staff who help them. We had the privilege of hearing directly from people who receive services about the difference these made to their lives and what could be improved. We also reviewed feedback provided by children and young people through our electronic survey. We visited social work teams, social care services and schools to hear from social work staff and other professionals who support disabled children and young people. During these visits we learned more about what was working well for children and young people and what was more challenging. 

We held five focus groups involving representatives from the four areas. This helped practitioners to reflect together about the areas of strengths and for improvement across the country.   

We are very grateful to everyone who took the time to speak with us or complete our surveys. We would also like to extend our thanks to everyone who facilitated our interactions with children and young people. We saw how important it was to the children and young people to receive support from people they knew well and who cared for them.   

In May, we met with representatives from the four areas individually to provide verbal feedback and share our reflections on our time spent in their area. We also shared their individual results for their record reading review and staff survey with them.    

Next steps 

We are now working on our national overview report, which we plan to publish in August 2024. We are working alongside colleagues within our organisation to provide accessible formats, including a short video animation to highlight our key messages. 

The published report will be available on the Care Inspectorate’s website. 

If you have any questions for the review team, they can be contacted via email on: 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

We’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in this review. 

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Privacy statement

Information about privacy

The thematic review is being carried out under Section 53 of the Public Services (Scotland) Reform Act 2010.

This legislation gives inspectors the power to interview staff, read records and speak with children, young people and their families.

  • All personal information about children and their families is kept confidentially and stored in line with our data protection impact assessment which complies with General Data Protection Regulations.  The Care Inspectorate’s core privacy notice can be found here.
  • All confidential information that requires to be shared is done so using a secure portal.  We will not accept information via email.  We will record all information using a unique reference number.
  • When staff, children and families speak with us, we do not report directly on their individual opinions and experiences.  We instead collate these views and experiences with others and we never identify individuals in our reports.
  • The only time we will disclose information is if we are worried about the safety of an individual or if we have serious concerns about practice. • Children, young people and families can choose whether or not, to speak with us. They also have the choice about whether to speak with us alone or with someone they trust.


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More information about the care experienced young people thematic review

Exploring the delivery, experience and impact of services when young people are planning to leave care and after they have moved on.

We have notified all local authority areas of our intention to undertake a thematic review of the experiences of young people leaving care in Scotland and the extent to which their rights are upheld. The review will run from April 2024 with a report being published in early November.

In 2021, the A Way Home Coalition published Youth Homeless Prevention Pathway: Improving Care Leavers Housing Pathways. This paper highlighted the need for equality in provision of aftercare services, the importance of pathway planning and of reducing risks and crises for young people in Scotland. The following recommendation was made:

The Scottish Government should work with the Care Inspectorate to develop and undertake robust thematic integrated reviews of ‘transition services’ involving key stakeholders and providers (such as housing and accommodation and further and higher education) and Aftercare engagement up to 26.

Purpose of the review

The review will focus on the experiences of young people aged between 16 and 26 who are, or have been, formally looked after and accommodated in foster care or care homes for children and young people. We are committed to seeking the views of young people about how they feel their rights are being upheld. It is being carried out under Section 53 of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.

The review will aim to establish the following:

  • The extent to which young people and their families are actively and meaningfully involved in all decisions about their continued care and have effective opportunities to influence service design and development.
  • The extent to which young people’s lives are improving through high quality assessment, planning and support which enables them to live in stable and suitable accommodation which is right for them.
  • How leaders ensure the effective delivery of services for young people who are either continuing to be cared for or are leaving care.

Although the statutory duties rest with the local authorities, the review will take account of the roles of children’s services planning partners.

We will conduct the review in two phases.

Phase 1:

  • will be based on self-reported information provided by leaders and staff with responsibility for corporate parenting, and the local champions’ boards (or equivalent) of all 32 local authorities.
  • we will undertake a literature review, including any national research and publications and additional published reports.
  • we will gather feedback from focus groups with scrutiny partners, a professional interest group and regulated care service inspectors.
  • will take account of relevant national data.

Phase 2

We are offering children’s services partnerships in four local authority areas the opportunity to take part in phase two to support their development in this part of their work and help us better understand the experiences of young people in their area. Our intention is that these four areas will support our work in phase two which will be made up of the following key elements:

  • a focused meeting with the lead professionals for five selected young people in each area: this will combine a case discussion with access to records.
  • individual meetings with the five young people
  • focus groups of senior leaders, champions boards and corporate parenting boards.
  • a review of relevant local documentation.

We will be keen to tailor this to best meet the needs of the four local authorities so that we add value to your improvement agenda. This will form part of our initial discussions and ongoing engagement with you.


The thematic review will result in the publication of a single national overview report, with individual feedback given to each of the four areas. While we will not be evaluating partnerships on their performance, we will report on what is working well across Scotland. We will also report on whether anything is getting in the way of best practice drawing on the perspectives of young people, families, and staff supporting care experienced young people.

Ask of local authorities

  1. We ask all partnerships to complete the attached national survey and return it to us by the 22 May 2024. This should be passed to an individual who has oversight of services for care experienced young people who will co-ordinate a collective approach to completing this as one single response.
  2. We are keen to work with local authorities and partnerships in phase two to provide us with a better understanding of young people’s experiences. Please let us know if you want to put your area forward by the 22 May 2024 and include details of a nominated individual who will act as our key point of contact.

The lead for this review is Jackie Deas, supported by Elena Mills, Strategic Support Officer.

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Information for young people and families

Who is this information for?

This information is for young people and their family members who have agreed to speak to us or complete a survey as part of our review of services for care experienced young people. Where we talk about young people we are talking about those who are care experienced. This term includes all categories of care as young people approach adulthood and are being supported to either move on or continue to be cared for in a place of their choice.

What is this review about? 

The purpose of the review is to find out how services are supporting young people when they are leaving care and ensuring that their rights are being upheld. These services are helping young people when they are making plans for leaving care and after they have moved on. They may be supporting you with housing, with your health or in relation to education or employment. A team from the Care Inspectorate are carrying out this review and we want to hear from people with recent lived experience of leaving care.

Why have I been asked for my views?

People who work with you feel that you could make a valuable contribution to the review. We want to listen to your views about whether you have received the help you need and any difference this has made to your life. Hearing the views and opinions of young people and family members is the most important part of our review. 

Do I have to take part?

No, taking part in the review is not compulsory. We strongly recommend that you chat with a keyworker, your social worker, or any other trusted adult before consenting.

How will I share my views with the review team?

If you agree to take part in the review there are two ways in which you may have been invited to share your views: directly with a member of the review team or by completing a survey. In both we will be asking questions to help us fully understand your experience, whether you received the support you needed and the impact of any support received.

Sharing your views directly with a member of the team

If this is the way you have been asked to take part arrangements will be made for a member of the review team to meet you at a time and in a place which suits you. This can be done in person, or we can arrange an online meeting or a phone call. You can be supported by people you know if this is your preference. The questions we will be asking you, have been developed in consultation with care experienced young people.

Completing a survey (young people only)

This will be shared with you by a worker who knows you and they will ensure that you have the help you need to complete the survey and we would encourage you to speak with them if completing the survey raises any issues for you. Your response is anonymous. Care experienced young people were involved in designing the survey.  You can change your mind and end the meeting or stop the survey at any time.

What will I be asked about?

We will ask you about your views about any support and help that you have had. We want to know about whether you have been involved in decisions that affect you and your family. We also want to ask you about how your rights have been respected. We will not ask you to share your personal information with us. 

What will you do with the things I tell you?

  • We will use what you say to help us work out what services are doing well and what needs to change.
  • What you say to us is private and we won’t use your name or identify you or share any of your personal details.
  • The only time we will tell others about something you say is if we are worried for your safety or the safety of someone else.
  • We will take some notes during the interview. These notes will not contain personal information and we will not share these notes with others. We will store our notes securely and destroy them at the end of the review.
  • We have rules about how we keep your information private. You can find our core privacy notice here. We will write a report in November 2024 and we will have other ways of sharing what services are doing well and what needs improve.

Where can I find out more information?

You can find out more information from our webpage. If you have any questions about taking part please speak to the person who gave you this form.

Thank you for taking part in our review.

You can download the information on this page in PDF format here.

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Care experienced young people thematic review

Exploring the delivery, experience and impact of services when young people are planning to leave care and after they have moved on

The Care Inspectorate are undertaking a thematic review in relation to the experience of young people in throughcare and aftercare. The roots of this work are in the following reports: A Way Home (p.27) and The Promise (p.93). Both reports suggested the need for reviewing transition services. In agreement with the Scottish Government, the Care Inspectorate has announced this review and work is underway.  

A team from the Care Inspectorate will find out how well services are supporting young people and making sure that their rights are respected. We are specifically interested in how young people are supported as they plan for leaving care and after they have moved on. These services may be supporting young people with housing, health or in relation to education or employment. They may also be working with young people who have decided to stay put, including young people in continuing care. At the heart of our approach will be ensuring that we elevate the voice of people with lived experience of these services.  

If you have been asked to meet with a member of the team or to complete a survey you should have received information about taking part. 

We are currently gathering information from all parts of Scotland on the different ways that services are being delivered and the ways in which the rights of young people are being upheld. In the summer we will be taking a closer look in four different parts of the country. In November 2024 we will report on what we have found. 

More information about this review can be found in the following links: 

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