The problem is not the individuals who work in the care system. The care system itself actually hinders workers’ abilities to nourish and heal children. Children need meaningful relationships, but workers are bound by employment contracts, professional boundaries, and shift patterns. The system was not designed to provide love.

Prevarication around reform comes at a continual financial and human cost. Care is a billion-plus pounds a year industry. A conservative estimate for the cost of Amber and Connor’s life in care puts the bill at £1 million. For this we should expect the system to provide a childhood of which we’d all be envious. Instead, Amber is dead and Connor faces a life-altering incarceration, costing a further £40,000 a year for the length of a life sentence.

The “rip up the system” approach that Sturgeon promised has not been delivered. The reforms we have seen since 2016 are measures to mitigate the difficulties of being care-experienced, but they do not improve the conditions for children in the care system.

Examples of these are that care-experienced people are entitled to more childcare, they receive council tax exemptions, and they have better access to higher education. These initiatives do not treat the causal problem: the care system. Until we do, care-experienced people will continue to be overrepresented in a host of social issues including rough sleeping homelessness, mental health illnesses, youth incarcerations, drug deaths and premature deaths.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Health Matters

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