Friday brings a very important date on the calendar – Care Day. It’s a time for celebration, reflection and action that has its roots in Scotland but has been embraced internationally since being established in 2015.
You may have seen the post on The Zone urging colleagues to wear red to show their support, which is just one of a number of initiatives and events taking place in Aberdeen on Friday.
Most importantly we’ll be joined by guests of honour as we welcome some of the city’s care experienced young people to the Town House to mark Care Day, together with carers and many of our own Council officers in our role as corporate parents.
Care Day is about celebrating the shift in attitudes around the lives of care experienced young people – but at the same time as celebrating, I think it’s vital that we acknowledge there’s a lot of work still to be done.
I’ve written before about the inequalities that we have to tackle and the importance of our commitment to corporate parenting. If you can spare the time to watch the video I first posted in May last year, please do – it tells the story far better than I ever could.
Care Day is also a focus for connecting the care community and harnessing the experiences, good and bad, on all sides to make improvements for young people today and those who will need our care in the future. On a related note, I’ll take the opportunity to highlight a recent post on the need for new foster carers in the north-east – you can find out more here.
The organisers, Who Cares? Scotland, sum it up perfectly when they say the main goal that we should all be working towards is ensuring care experienced people get the love, rights and relationships they deserve.
I must put on record my thanks to all the colleagues who have been working on the Council’s contribution to Care Day – but most importantly to the far wider group across the organisation and our partners who work tirelessly every day to make a difference to the lives of young people.
Along with our partners (Police Scotland, NHS Grampian, the Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership and ACVO representing the third sector) we are currently going through a Joint Inspection of Services for Children and Young People.
It’s an incredibly important and painstaking process, with the external inspectors rigorous in their assessment and demanding in terms of the requirements on our Council colleagues in Integrated Children’s and Family Services.
The hard work around the inspection is essential if we’re to continue to improve and striving to build on the progress that has already been made. I know I speak for all partners when I say there is total commitment to ensuring Aberdeen is a place where every young person has the chance to fulfil their potential and to be nurtured and supported every step of the way.
As a Council there is no greater responsibility than our duty of care to those we serve. Friday is a great chance to mark that together with towns and cities across the country.