Greater recognition for care experienced citizens
GREATER recognition for care experienced people has been unanimously agreed by Inverclyde councillors.
The request was made by Councillor Jim Clocherty, seconded by Cllr Natasha McGuire, in a motion to a meeting of the council on Thursday 28 September 2023 that was agreed by all elected members present.
Cllr Clocherty praised the work of the council and the health and social care partnership (HSCP) in supporting care experienced residents and called on other agencies and organisations to do more.
Among the recommendations, it was agreed that the local authority would add ‘care experienced’ as a protected characteristic when carrying out equalities impact assessments and to widen the scope of the term to include those who have been or are currently in: kinship care, looked after at home, foster care, residential care, secure homes, and adoption.
Cllr Clocherty, who is the council’s convener of education and communities, said: “I’ve seen first-hand the excellent work done by council and our health and social care services in supporting people with care experience and our local iPromise team who work closely with care experienced young people is a fine example of that.
“But we can’t stand still and we must always strive to do more to help improve the lives of care experienced people.
“As a council, we are leading by example and must encourage other agencies and partners to increase their support.
“I’m delighted that fellow councillors share that strength of feeling and for their support with this motion.”
The text of the motion is as follows:
Inverclyde Council recognises our collective responsibility as corporate parents and our commitment for the delivery of ‘The Promise’ that Scotland’s children and young people will grow up loved, safe, and respected.
Inverclyde Council also recognises that care experienced people require ongoing support to help them to achieve their potential.
Inverclyde Council agrees to add ‘Care Experienced’ as a protected characteristic into our Equalities Impact Assessments where the phrase ‘Care Experienced people’ is used to describe anyone who is currently, or has been, in the care system, for example, kinship care, looked after at home, foster care, residential care, secure homes, and adoption.
Inverclyde Council agrees to continually and proactively seek out and listen to the voices of care experienced people when developing new policies and strategies that affect them.
Notes that Inverclyde Council’s addition of care experienced to the list of protected characteristics would formally recognise the potential impact that the making of any future decisions and Council policies/strategies might have on care experienced people.
To formally call upon all local Registered Social Landlords, the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Board and the Inverclyde Integration Joint Board to treat care experienced as a protected characteristic until such time as it may be introduced by legislation.
Cllr McGuire, seconding Cllr Clocherty’s motion, said: “At Inverclyde Council, we take our role as corporate parents very seriously.
“We are passionate about ensuring that those who experience care, at any point, are given care, support and a voice- we do this through our iPromise team.
“Everyone deserves to have dignity and respect and to be included in decisions that affect them.
"This motion aims to put care experienced people at the centre of any policies or strategies that affect them.
“This feeds into one of the iPromise values of ‘nothing about me, without me’.
“We want care experienced to become a protected characteristic because we acknowledge that those who experience care – in whatever way – can experience stigma, be disadvantaged or discriminated against throughout their lives-not just whilst in care.
“Being in care impacts the whole person and being care experienced affects people’s lives long after they’ve left care.
“We want to show care experienced people across our area that we stand with them against the stigma and discrimination that we want to reduce the disadvantages they face- to empower and support them at every level of our community.”
The full council meeting is available to watch on the Inverclyde Council YouTube channel and associated papers are on the council website via the links on the Other Websites section of this page.