Spotlight on … our Keeping The Promise improvement activity

Posted on 15th Feb 2024
multi coloured heart made from paper

Tomorrow is Care Day and today we shine the spotlight on some of our Keeping the Promise improvement work. We talk to SCRA’s Keeping The Promise Organisational Change Lead Collette Gallagher to find out more…

SCRA’s Keeping The Promise Route Plan is split into two areas – improvement and reform, why is that?
The Independent Care Review made it clear that we need to redesign our Children’s Hearings System. This is something which will require a combination of legal reform and improvement, so although we have split the Route Plan into two areas, the two areas are still very much linked. However, we wanted to make sure that whilst we were working with other partners on reforms that were needed, we did not lose sight of the improvements we could make straight away which would have a positive impact on children and young people.

It’s been two years since the Route Plan was published, can you tell us a little bit about the improvement work?
Two years has went by really quickly and that’s because we have had so many new and exciting improvement projects happening across the organisation during this time. The improvement projects have been of various different sizes, but all have been equally important. For example our child friendly scheduling improvement project is one which scales across at least three different Localities. Whereas, our Communi-crate pilot is a small test for change in just one Locality. In addition to these projects, we have also been working on a variety of projects which are designed to support children and young people to be better prepared for their Hearings. Our ‘Taking Control of My Hearing’ project in Fife is one of these. We were recently able to share a poster about this project at The Promise Scotland’s Stories for Change event which you can view here.

How have you ensured the voice of care experienced children, young people and adults has been at the centre of your improvement work?
All of our improvement ideas have come from the voice of care experienced children, young people or adults. Children, young people and adults who have experience of Hearings know best what would make the biggest difference. We engage with as many children and young people as we can and listen to what they tell us. For example our Communi-crate project came about after we met with a group of care experienced young people who were part of the Voice and Inclusion Project run by CELCIS. They pointed out that it can be difficult for children and young people to share their views in Hearings and that providing tools to help children and young people do this would be beneficial. That’s how the Communi-crate idea originated. From there we met with children and young people from Proud2Care in Inverclyde who helped us create the toolkit. Now that the project is up and running, we are getting feedback directly from children and young people. Getting feedback on our improvement projects is critical. This is what helps us to understand what’s working and what is not. We know not every change will make the difference we want it too and we have to be prepared to hear that feedback too. We also have an internal Voice of Experience Reference Group that we use to sense check the work that we are doing. This is a group of people who have both lived and learned experience of the Hearings System. They provide a unique insight into what works and what doesn’t.

So what’s next – any new projects in the pipeline?
We will shortly be launching our ‘Understanding my Hearing: Before, During and After’ in the Western Isles. The aim of this project will be to improve children and young people’s understanding about what the decisions made at their Hearings mean for them. This project will test a number of change ideas that care experienced young people helped us to create. The main part of the project includes a personalised letter to the child after their Hearing explaining the decisions made and the offer of a meeting with the Reporter where this will be explained and they can ask any questions. The project will build on from the ‘Taking Control of My Hearing’ project so that not only are children and young people prepared for their Hearing, but they are also supported by us afterwards to understand what Hearing decisions mean for them and what their rights are.

If anyone reading this has ideas for improvements we can make, what should they do?
Definitely get in touch! We want to hear from you if you have suggestions of what we can do to improve the Hearings experience for children, young people and their families. I am always happy to chat to people about ideas they might have. We learn by listening. Please get in touch with us at

Share this: