Scotland Policy Conferences

Improving provision for children in care and care leavers: multi-agency working, developing the workforce and support for those leaving care

Morning, Wednesday, 3rd April 2019

Central Edinburgh


This conference focuses on The Scottish Government’s current wide-ranging policy reform agenda aimed at improving the lives of children in care and care leavers.

The agenda also includes a keynote address from the Independent Care Review, at a mid-way point in its trialling and evidence gathering phase.

This conference will be an opportunity to feed into the Review’s continuing work as it seeks to develop new initiatives, evaluate clear evidence of what works for children and young people, and encourage best practice for improving the experience of children and young people in care.

Delegates will discuss how a co-ordinated and collaborative approach can be further developed between local authorities, education providers, health services, and the voluntary sector in supporting those in care, whilst retaining a level of flexibility which best provides for the unique individual needs of looked after children and foster families.

With The Scottish Government keen to ensure that ‘a sense of love’ is embedded into policy which is developing this area, delegates will also look at how local authorities can ensure that established, strong relationships are included in future provision for care leavers.

The seminar will also discuss the next steps for addressing the workforce challenges faced in the social care sector in Scotland during the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. In particular, attendees will focus on the progress so far in tackling recruitment and retention issues, and consider potential strategies for widening diversity.

The agenda also focuses on improving provision for care leavers and the development of an effective multi-agency approach can be developed support those leaving care.

The way forward for developing stronger structures to support progression to further and higher education, and expanding effective pathways into employment will also be considered.

Keynote Speakers

Maree Todd MSP

Minister for Children and Young People

Sue Brookes

Co-Chair of Workforce, Journey Group, Independent Care Review

Jimmy Paul

Co-Chair of Workforce, Journey Group, Independent Care Review


Gillian Martin MSP

Member, Cross-Party Group on Prevention and Healing of Adverse Childhood Experiences

Jeremy Balfour MSP

Member, Cross-Party Group on Children and Young People


Karen Ralston

Head of Childrens’ Services, Highland Council

Stephen McLeod

Head of Specialist Children’s Services, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Sarah Jane Linton

Board Member, Who Cares? Scotland

Sara Lurie

Director, The Fostering Network in Scotland

Deirdre Fitzpatrick

Interim Head of Social Work, Scotland, The Open University

Kenny McGhee

Throughcare and Aftercare Consultant, CELCIS

Dr Iain MacRitchie

Founder and Chief Executive, MCR Pathways

Rachel Hyslop

School Connect Manager and Named Contact for Care Experienced Students, Glasgow Caledonian University

SallyAnn Kelly

Chief Executive, Aberlour Child Care Trust

Rhona Pollock

Legal Consultant, Adoption and Fostering Alliance Scotland

Ryan McCuaig

Board Member, Who Cares? Scotland and Care-Experienced Activist

Liam Purdie

Head of Children and Justice Services and Chief Social Work Officer, South Lanarkshire Council

Mairi Graham

Acting Head Teacher, Middlefield School, Glasgow