The Coalition for Continuing Care was one of the most successful campaigns of the last 12 months, picking up the Cracking Campaign award at the Scottish Charity Awards in recognition of this. TFN asks organisers the secret of its success
Who Cares? Scotland, Barnardo’s and Aberlour support young care leavers and know all too well the very poor outcomes they often face. They formed the Coalition for Continuing Care to use the opportunity of the children and young people (Scotland) bill to get a better system of support for care leavers. Kicking off in Autumn 2013, the campaign aimed to provide the opportunity for young people in all kinds of state care to stay in care for longer; the right to return to care between 16 and 26; increased support for young people when they leave care and proper investigations when a young care leaver dies.
Campaign budget: Around £10,000.
Target: Ensure that care leavers were able to live a life closer to that of their non-care experienced peers.
What was the biggest challenge faced: The challenge was considerable. We were asking for the biggest shake-up of the care system in a generation, at significant cost to local authority budgets. The significant cost implications associated with our proposals required detailed negotiations with the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities in order to secure the funding we needed to deliver.
How do you measure success: When Who Cares? Scotland no longer has to exist to campaign for the rights of looked after young people because they are treated the same as their non-care experienced peers. With the passing of the bill on 19 February Scotland has gone much further than the rest of the UK by securing the right to stay in care for those in residential and kinship care as well. These are changes to be welcomed and celebrated. £25 million worth of funding has also been secured.
Top tip: Our campaign demonstrates what can be achieved by combining a detailed set of transformative proposals with effective lobbying, supporter mobilisation and placing those affected at the front and centre of all aspects.
The brains: The young campaigners who fronted the campaign, it was their commitment, personal experiences and selfless contributions which made this campaign achieve what it did. As Aileen Campbell recognised, “I think they [looked after young people] have left an enormously positive legacy for future care leavers in Scotland.”
@WhoCaresScot; @AberlourCCT; @BarnardosScot
www.whocaresscotland.org; www.aberlour.org.uk; www.barnardos.org.uk