2 November 2021

Spotlight on: Children's Services

Zoe Brawn talks about her team's work to implement 'The Promise'

For many Scots, the years 2020 and 2021 will be remembered because of the pandemic, when COVID-19 took over our lives, put us in lockdown, working from home to stay safe, and the vaccine roll-out was judged a huge success in Scotland.

However, there was another massive change happening too, but which was not as well covered by the media as the pandemic.

The Independent Review of Adult Social Care, commissioned by Scottish Government and delivered by Derek Feeley, reported in February 2021 that it recommended bringing all adult social care services into a new National Care Service (NCS). The plan for this is currently out for consultation by Scottish Government.

The consultation has gone further than the recommendations of the ‘Feeley Review’, and includes a number of interconnected but different services, including children’s services and community justice services.

Zoe Brawn, who heads up the Scotland Excel Children’s Service’s team, said: “There is no doubt that the focus of care for people no matter what age they are should be supporting them to stay in the communities that they view as home. For older people, there is support to help them live safely at home for as long as possible. For children and young people it is the same, they should remain with their family, including with their siblings, where this is possible and appropriate and be looked after and supported within their own community.”

Zoe and her team currently look after three national Children’s contract areas. These are for Fostering and Continuing Care, Children’s Residential and Children’s Secure Care.

The team are working to implement the work of “The Promise” in these contracts.  The Promise Scotland is responsible for driving the work of change demanded by the findings of the Independent Care Review. It works with all kinds of organisations to support shifts in policy, practice and culture so Scotland can #KeepThePromise it made to care for infants, children, young people, adults and their families - that every child grows up loved, safe and respected, able to realise their full potential.

Supporting work is also undertaken by the Zoe and her team, including policy work for the Early Learning and Childcare expansion and work with COSLA and local authorities around other complex commissioning areas.

With seven years’ experience, Zoe came to Scotland Excel as a Graduate Trainee and worked in different categories before landing her current role.

Zoe comments: “We work closely with local authorities, providers, provider bodies and wider stakeholders because services for children are so important and we know through engagement and collaboration we are much more likely to succeed in achieving our aims.”