Children in Care (Support)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 27th October 2016.

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The First Minister:

Yes, I will give that commitment. Indeed, we have already announced certain changes to help to make sure that that commitment can be delivered.

I have mentioned statistics: a horrifying statistic is that only 6 per cent of care-experienced young people go to university. We have therefore accepted the commission on widening access’s recommendation to ensure not only guaranteed places at university for care-experienced young people who have the grades, but full grants for those care-experienced young people going to university. That is a concrete example of the progress that we are making. We have to do much more, and we have to do it in partnership with the people who are the experts—those who are in care or who have experienced care.

I have been moved beyond belief by some of the conversations that I have had with care-experienced young people in the past few months. I have no doubt that, if we come together—not just as a Parliament, but as a country—and put those young people at the heart of what we are trying to do, we can do something really special that in years to come we can all look back on with pride.