As the Children and Young People Bill is passed by the Scottish Parliament (February 20) the impact that this will have on care leavers, some of the most vulnerable young people in our society, is immeasurable.
Currently most young people in care leave the system aged 16 or 18 and face very bleak futures due to the lack of consistent and appropriate ‘aftercare’ support they have access to.
This means many of them face young lives dogged by homelessness, unemployment, mental health issues, a lack of education options and time in prison.
However, Scotland is set to be a world leader in the way it assists young people in care after amendments to the Bill were lodged following extensive lobbying, ensuring Scotland’s most vulnerable children and young people will be able to stay in care to 21 years old as part of a ‘continuing care’ package.
There is also a commitment from the Scottish Government to allow young people from care to return to a care placement between 16 and 21 years old after they leave and find that they hit problems or issues which they can’t cope with.
This Bill is a life saver, literally, for many young people in care who together represent some of the most marginalised young people in our society and its passage will demonstrate that Scotland truly is a world leader when it comes to addressing the challenges faced by many young care leavers.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition comprising:
Tom McGhee, managing director, Spark of Genius
Stuart Jacob, director, Falkland House School
Sophie Dow, founder, Mindroom
Sophie Pilgrim, director, Kindred
Niall Kelly, managing director, Young Foundations
c/o 13 Hill Street, Edinburgh
Missing out on wealth in Cameron’s nation
SO, Prime Minister David Cameron says that he doesn’t need to dip into the foreign aid budget to help the flood victims in England because “Britain is a wealthy nation.”
Yes, Mr Cameron, Britain is so wealthy that your spending cuts have reduced public services to levels not seen since before the NHS was formed.
It’s not just Richard Branson’s balloons that blow out hot air.
Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar
State Guardians can help end crime of FGM
State Guardians for every child in Scotland could have a dramatic effect on child abuse such as Female Genital Mutilation.
FGM is illegal in Scotland, yet there have been no prosecutions, although thousands of girls in Scotland have been subjected to this barbaric procedure.
We are persuaded by recent evidence that FGM predates both Christianity and Islam and thus it is not necessarily a faith problem but more of a cultural issue.
We urge everyone to get involved as State Guardians, especially with regard to children from communities which practise FGM and present any findings to Police Scotland and hopefully we will get a criminal prosecution for a serious crime against females which shames Scotland.
Ian Stewart, Park Avenue, Dundee
Media backing wrong side on independence
IN armed conflicts there is a confusion of reality called ‘the fog of war’ which can lead to be bad decisions and disaster. The independence vote is not a war but the debate has developed a very nasty ‘smog of irrationality’.
The NO campaign has now given up any attempt at making reasoned debate and is charging full on into Project Fear overdrive. The media, in my opinion ,are fully complicit in this anti-democratic endeavour and I would very much like to hear what ‘Plan B’ they have for their careers in journalism when the Scottish people vote for independence based on our own rational, logical and considered opinion and a desire for a democratic parliament in Edinburgh.
The day after the vote will be a reckoning because the TV and newspapers are all lying to us; you know it, we know it, and we now do not trust you. There is still time to make good and perhaps you might remember why as youths you decided in the first place to become journalist sin the pursuit of truth.
Gary Smith, Ardshiel Avenue, Edinburgh
Planning ahead after a Yes vote success
SCOTLAND is a nation which, when independent, will be empowered to address the deep injustices felt by many of its population.
For a start, this part of ‘Britain’ needs more than 100,000 new houses to address homelessness.
It needs decent wages and pensions and less tax. The whisky industry needs lower taxation to grow the business throughout the world.
Since unionists have utterly failed to tackle these and other issues, what other option does Scotland have?
That’s why I say vote Yes on September 18 and change the greed of the few into the wellbeing of the many.
Trevor Swistchew, Victor Park Terrace, Edinburgh