North Lanarkshire Council’s ‘promise team’ marks two years since program began to help every child

Today (Saturday) marks two years since the publication of a national initiative aimed at ensuring every child grows up loved, safe and respected.

‘The Promise’ was launched to ensure that every child in Scotland fulfills their full potential.

And North Lanarkshire Council’s (NLC) ‘promise team’ are celebrating the anniversary with a clear message of support to local young people.

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“We are here to serve the children, young people and families of North Lanarkshire,” said team member Beth-Anne Logan.

“We want to ensure that you and your views are heard, respected and contribute to service redesign. You matter, you are valued, you are cherished and you are loved, and we want to make sure you have everything you need to flourish.”

The Promise Team of four development workers was set up last March to support the council’s commitment to #KeepThePromise.

Each of the team are care-experienced, and want to use their knowledge and understanding to help other families receive the support they need to stay together as much as possible and, where that can’t happen, that they are supported to stay connected and have influence over their own lives.

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In the year ahead, the team will continue to raise awareness of Promise Scotland by talking to children and young people, teachers and education staff, health and social care workers and others involved in the care system.

They will use the information gathered to inform changes to policy and practice in the care system to deliver better outcomes for children and families.

They also plan to run a series of training sessions to help education staff better understand the impact of being care-experienced and establish a “Keeping the Promise” Award for schools.

In addition, the team will run a program for young people who have been in or are on the edges of secure care, those have been in conflict with the law, or have ever been or felt unsafe in their communities to address issues they face.

NLC’s convention of the education and families committee, Councilor Frank McNally, said the efforts of the team had been “invaluable” in helping council services develop the support offered to children and families.

He told Lanarkshire Live: “Their experience gives a unique insight into the needs of families involved in the care system, and their commitment to achieving Promise Scotland and the council’s shared ambitions is inspirational to everyone involved.”

The team will work closely with a range of public sector organizations in North Lanarkshire, including Police Scotland.

Superintendent Andy Thomson told us: “Police Scotland will work with partners to prioritize a child’s need for a healthy, happy childhood that has positive experiences and outcomes.

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“We will focus on language and stigma, building better relationships, supporting children in conflict with the law and implementing a new contextual safeguarding approach that will ensure compassion and consistency.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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