Who Cares? Scotland’s Festival of Care  


Our roadshow left the mainland and rolled into Shetland in February. We focused on listening to care experienced children and young people, a group whose rights need special care and protection. Commissioner Bruce Adamson and Nicola Vallance-Ross, our Head of Corporate Services, took part in Who Cares? Scotland’s Festival of Care in Lerwick. 

This year’s theme was ‘Tending the Light’ and Bruce told the festival that it’s not enough for decision-makers to promise incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) – they must keep that promise. 

Bruce said: “The delay in incorporation negatively affects all children, but particularly those whose rights were already most at risk, like care experienced children. The UNCRC says decisions must be made in children’s best interests, and they should participate in decision-making. There must be special help for children with care experience. But care experienced young people tell us that’s not happening and things are even worse because of the pandemic. Promises made to care experienced children must be kept now.” 

Nicola said: “The festival was really inspiring. Care experienced young people and the adult professionals involved in their care and continuing development were tasked with coming up with one thing they would change about the care system in Scotland. We worked together to create ambitious asks of everyone and put views forward to the wider group. After this, there were various calls to action which the Shetland crew are taking forward.” 


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