Edinburgh's Promise

The Care Review published The Promise in February 2020. It was the conclusion of two years of consultation and review of children’s services. It supports children who are unable to stay at home with their parents.

The Promise concluded that Scotland’s Care System was neither a caring or united system. It outlines the belief that we need transformational change across children’s services in Scotland. Also, transformation must keep the views and voice of children and young people at its core.

The Promise 2021-2024 plan addresses five main themes

  1. A good childhood.
  2. Whole family support.
  3. Building capacity.
  4. Supporting the workforce.
  5. Planning.

Any service developments or service redesigns must address five extra fundamentals

  1. What matters to children and families
  2. Poverty
  3. Language
  4. Listening
  5. Children's rights

Edinburgh's Promise

Edinburgh has chosen to brand its response to The Promise by calling it Edinburgh’s Promise. It is governed through the Edinburgh Children’s Partnership. All sectors of children’s services, voluntary, statutory and regulatory will need to review, consult and amend service provision. This matches the ambition of the Children’s Partnership to be as joined up as possible about children’s services.

Edinburgh's Promise plan 

The Edinburgh’s Promise plan for 2021 to 2024 is the main activity that key organisations in the Edinburgh Children’s Partnership are taking forward to make sure that Edinburgh keeps the Promise. An ambitious plan of key actions and change, linked to the National Promise, this plan has four Working Groups taking it forward. We will make updates as the plan progresses. For now, this plan will state scope, scale and ambition.

Download the Edinburgh's Promise plan 2021 to 2024

Reframing our language

As part of Edinburgh’s Promise, many of colleagues have been looking at how we alter the way we use language and how we speak of others. Language is a key part of Edinburgh keeping the Promise, and it is important as the way we speak and communicate leave their mark and resonate for a long, long time afterwards with the people we are speaking and communicating about.

Just as children and young people told the Care Review that professionals used language that they viewed as stigmatising e.g. LAC, LAAC, contact, siblings, so too have Edinburgh children and young people been telling our Review Team colleagues what their preferred ways of being communicated to, and about, are. The attached is a suggested list that hopefully will support colleagues begin or continue to reframe the language that we all too easily slip into using, yet which is quite evidently doing more harm than we ever intended it to.

Swapping out some words and replacing them with others is not a new approach, and with it comes the challenge that unless there is some element of personalisation – asking what works for the children, young people, parents and carers themselves – we are simply swapping old labels for new. So, please do not view this list as a diktat or imposition, as that is not what it is intended to be. Please see and use this list as an opportunity to become more mindful of what words and phrases work for people, and which do not. People are after all, all unique and no list would ever be universal in its appeal or application.

Reframing our language - MS Word download

5 fundamentals

Central to Edinburgh’s Promise, are the 5 fundamentals that all our Children’s services need to be built upon. The following document outlines what these fundamentals mean to Edinburgh, as well as explaining what it looks like when people, teams, services, and organisations act on these fundamentals.

Edinburgh's promise fundamentals - MS Word download

Edinburgh's Promise updates

You can access update reports from Edinburgh’s Promise which will indicate the progress made in Edinburgh across all agencies in keeping the Promise.

Edinburgh's Promise framework

It is important that in keeping the Promise, that we are clear on how we gain and use the views and voice of children, and young people in shaping the services that we have in Edinburgh to support them and their families. Edinburgh's Promise framework is to be used by organisations, services, teams, and individuals who are involved in supporting children and young people participate in service delivery improvement as well as service design.

Edinburgh's promise logo: heart with blue, yellow, green and red inside with the text "Edinburgh's promise"

Emily Dempsey

Corporate Parenting Lead Officer