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Reframing Care Experience in Scotland


The FrameWorks Institute, the Robertson Trust, the Life Changes Trust and CELCIS are collaborating on a project to ‘reframe’ perceptions and opinions of the care system in Scotland. To date the Trust has contributed £95,000 to this project.

The aim of this project is to improve public understanding of the issues affecting vulnerable children and families, and of the policy solutions available, through a programme to 'reframe' how children's social care (looked after children and care leavers) in Scotland is conceptualised and presented in public and political discourse. 

This research revealed a set of deep and widely shared ways that people think about the topics related to children’s care: they see trauma as causing irreversible damage; they trace the problem to selfish parents trapped in morally deficient communities; and they understand the care system itself as deeply dysfunctional and ill-equipped to provide the love and care that they recognise children need. It is these ways of thinking that help to explain why children and families in a care system are so stigmatised. This also creates obstacles for those working to provide better support for children in care.

The final research report will be available in March and the project will go on to develop a Playbook and Toolkit, as well as training that can be used by professionals across the sector to challenge stigma and how young people with care experience are portrayed in – and treated by – society. 

At the conclusion of Stage 1 in May 2018, Frameworks published two reports. More information will be published as the project progresses.