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18 February 2022

SDS Corporate Parenting Plan sets out support for care experienced young people


In support of #CareDay22 (18 February), the world’s largest celebration of the rights of children and young people with care experience, SDS hopes for a world where children and young people who have overcome adversities are proud of themselves, their achievements and look forward to a future of opportunity, equality and equity. 

Corporate Parenting Plan 2021-24 

The support offered to care experienced young people continues to be the focus of a new plan published by Skills Development Scotland (SDS). 

The third edition of SDS’s Corporate Parenting Plan incorporates a report of activity from the last three years and illustrates the five new commitments that SDS will focus on between now and 2024 to ensure it continues to play its part in helping young people with lived experience of care to fulfil their potential. 

SDS is part of a group of 24 public bodies defined as corporate parents under The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, with a series of statutory duties aimed at supporting care experienced young people. 

Corporate Generic Carousel Images

Progress made 

Progress made against our commitments in the previous plan include designing a new summer internship programme for care experienced undergraduates between years three and four of their degree; helping care experienced young people access opportunities, services, and support through additional financial support; and the development the CIAG Equality Action Plan 2019-21 to guide consideration of equality groups, including care experienced individuals, in the development and delivery of SDS career services. 

Developing the Corporate Parenting Plan 2021-24 

SDS has worked closely with customers, colleagues, and stakeholders to develop a new Corporate Parenting Plan. It has also been informed by the awareness of the wider policy context for corporate parenting, including the key objectives set out in The Promise Plan for 2021-24

Building on the Corporate Parenting Plan 2018-21, the commitments for this new plan take a thematic approach. They consider statutory responsibilities, the priorities identified in the Care Review and The Promise, the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, and the ambitions for the next phase of the corporate parenting journey: 

  • Commitment One: help SDS colleagues understand how to be a good corporate parent in practice 
  • Commitment Two: continue to collaborate with partners to improve the collection and use of data on care experienced customers 
  • Commitment Three: ensure SDS benefits from care experienced talent by creating sustainable progression routes into our workforce 
  • Commitment Four: develop and deliver products and services that improve the learning and employment outcomes of care experienced people 
  • Commitment Five: put the voice of care experienced young people at the heart of SDS decision making. 
The achievements and ambitions contained within this plan reflect our commitment to our corporate parenting duties and to keeping The Promise. They also speak to our resolute aim to improve equal opportunities and outcomes for all of Scotland’s young people.

Damien Yeates

SDS Chief Executive

Essential support 

Partnership working is key to the approach: 

Chloe Dobson, Training and Education Manager (Corporate Parenting), at Who Cares? Scotland said: 

“We know that all young people require support to better understand the options available to them as they progress through their education and begin to consider their career aspirations. Who Cares? Scotland is pleased that SDS has considered the specific support that care experienced people may require and has outlined this within their most recent Corporate Parenting Plan. The most important part of this plan is how they have considered the views and experiences of care experienced people and how they will strive to do better for them. Who Cares? Scotland is committed to continuing to work with SDS to realise their ambitions for care experienced people across Scotland.” 

Samantha Macrae, Promise Ambassador at Renfrewshire Council, said: 

“Skills Development Scotland play a fantastic role in providing care experienced young people with career advice and guidance to support them with their transitions. This level of support is essential to ensure that we #KeepThePromise.” 

Sonja Kerr, Head Teacher at Glasgow Virtual School, said:  

“We look forward to our continued partnership working with SDS.  We are pleased that SDS are considering innovative ways to strengthen relationships and exercise flexibility especially at transition points in the lives of our care experienced young people.”  

Claire Burns, Director of CELCIS, said: 

“By working with and listening to the views of care experienced young people, the Corporate Parenting Plan demonstrates how Skills Development Scotland is continuing to drive forward progress for better outcomes for young people across education, employment and training. Its shared ambition to keep The Promise, while understanding what opportunities there are to go even further, will contribute to every child and young person with experience of care being supported to achieve their aspirations.” 

Find out more: 

SDS Corporate Parenting Plan 2021-24 

Care Day 

Who Cares? Scotland