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Young care leavers meet Nicola Sturgeon in Edinburgh

Young care leavers meet Nicola Sturgeon in Edinburgh

The views of more than 200 young people with experience of Scotland's care system were presented to the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this week at a special event in Edinburgh hosted by Action for Children Scotland.

She spoke to young Scots currently in care and those recently moved on about what aspects of the system worked for them and what they felt let them down.

Review of the care system

The event forms part of a series which will see the First Minister hear from 1,000 looked after young Scots, and which will feed into the Scottish Government's "root and branch" review of the country's care system.

As well as meeting 50 young people, the First Minister also received boxes of postcards from other 'care-experienced' young people supported by us.

The best start and equal chances

Nicola Sturgeon said: "Every child should have the best start in life and an equal chance to succeed. Yet, through no fault of their own, that’s not the case for far too many young people in care."

"Children and young people are the best advocates for change and today I have heard some powerful stories that really demonstrate strength, courage and success in the face of circumstances that no young person should have to deal with."

"We all have a role to play in supporting and listening more to our young people to ensure they get the same stability and life chances that the rest of us take for granted."

Action for Children Scotland and care leavers

Action for Children Scotland works with more than 800 young people who have been through the care system at services including residential and short-breaks, family support services and employability support.

Paul Carberry, Director of Action for Children Scotland, said: "When the review of the care system was announced by the First Minister we welcomed it, particularly the pledge to listen to the views of care-experienced young people."

"At Action for Children, we support upwards of 800 young Scots who have been through the care system and their views are crucial to this review. They are the experts on the system and have seen first-hand the parts which worked while also experiencing the parts which have let them down."

"Our young people were thrilled to meet the First Minister and play their part in this very important review. She heard about their very real experiences which are important if we are to build of a care system which will better meet their needs and allow them to reach their potential."

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