Aberdeen ,

Innovative approach to helping looked after children wins award

Aberdeen City Council’s Children’s Social Work has received a prestigious award for its innovative approach to helping looked after children.

The Herald Society ‘Young People’s Project of the Year’ Award has been given jointly to Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council for their work on the Permanence and Care Excellence (PACE) programme.

The PACE programme is a national multi-agency approach to reducing delays and difficulties experienced by children in Scotland who cannot be cared for by their parents.

PACE, which sees multi-agency teams working in partnership with CELCIS (the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland), was developed with the belief that improvement should put children and young people first and focus on the needs of each individual child and how to achieve long-term permanence rather than remaining in temporary care settings. By making changes to systems and practice a significant reduction in the delays children experience has been achieved.

Aberdeen City Council was invited to participate in the PACE programme in 2014, and since then has significantly contributed to achieving stability in looked after children’s care arrangements here in the North-east of Scotland.

Aberdeen City Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Committee, Councillor Angela Taylor said: “To receive this prestigious award is testament to our commitment to all our looked after children ensuring that they each receive the support that is best suited to them as individuals. By doing so, we can help give them emotional and legal security which will allow them to be children. Congratulations to the staff involved who helped achieve this accolade.”

Locally the PACE programme has included NHS Grampian; Children’s Hearing Scotland; Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration and the Scottish Court Service.