Kiri, a forthcoming TV series stars the wonderful actor Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley) as a social worker overseeing an inter-country adoption that appears to go wrong. Normally, my heart would sink at this theme and the likely portrayal of social workers but her presence should be, I hope, a guarantee of quality. However, I was even more interested to see that the scriptwriter’s mum was a social worker. How often do we see portrayals of those delivering public services by people who have real-life insights?
It got me thinking about how welcome it is in children’s services that our social work services are not just asking children, young people and their families what they think of services but, crucially, involving them in shaping the improvements that they want to see. The understanding that there can be no fundamental change without involving those who use the services, is increasingly part of the DNA of children’s services.
This is why Children in Scotland is delighted to welcome that this year’s Scottish Social Services Award has a category on excellence in children’s services. And that it is a group of children and young people , supported by ourselves, who will be judging the awards.
This will be an award for any individual or organisation, with a social services background, who has helped and supported children and young people in any way.. It could be supporting them, to cope in school, when in, or just leaving, hospital; when dealing with a crisis in their family. The group might also choose to make the award to someone they have seen support their family or friends. There will be many examples.
Children in Scotland is really excited to support this and looking forward to working with young people on the process. See you at the Awards!