STARR, Scotland’s only curated space for secure care experienced children, young people and adults has won a Sunday Mail Young Scot Community Award.
Formed in 2018, STARR aims to help inform, advise, challenge and change the pathways into, during, and after, secure care. Members use their own experiences help inform, advise, challenge and change how we do secure care in Scotland, and ensure the upholding of children’s rights for all.
The annual Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards recognises the outstanding achievements of 11-26 year olds from across Scotland and the extraordinary work they do to improve their local communities and the lives of others. The winners were announced by BBC Radio 1 DJ, Gemma Cairney, at an awards ceremony at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre on April 27.
STARR Chair and Founder Beth-Anne Logan said:
“The creation of STARR is one of my proudest achievements. Having a safe, curated space for people with lived experience of secure care come together to create change is something I’d been wanting to do for a while – and we made that a reality. STARR’s co-creation of the secure care national standards is something I, and all STARR members are really proud of.
“Being nominated for a Young Scot award, then being finalists – and then winning – is something I never actually thought would happen! We campaign for change from a place so pure in our hearts that the thought we are now being recognised for this is amazing.
“I’m proud to be the chair of STARR and I’m proud of each and every member past and present. Without everyone’s input we wouldn’t be where we are today and we certainly wouldn’t have made the changes we are now seeing.
“STARR brings a sense of belonging, of community and of hope. And my biggest hope is that we continue to grow and flourish into the changemakers I know we are all capable of being.”
STARR’s vision is of a Scotland where our children are valued, nurtured, cherished and loved. Where children experience difficulties that mean they need extra support, this should be given at the right time, in the right place and by the right people. If children come into contact with secure care, it is essential that they receive the highest possible calibre of nurturing, supportive, trauma responsive care. STARR is striving for a Scotland where we do not need to restrict our children’s liberty to keep them or others safe, but that provides holistic, rights-based care to those who need it in our communities.
Children’s voices and experiences would have undoubtedly not been given the centrality they have across developments without STARR, nor would children’s rights to participation have been upheld in the way they are.
STARR was at the heart of developing the Secure Care Pathway and Standards Scotland. The first national standards for secure care set out what support children should expect when in, or on the edges of, secure care. Forty-four Standards seek to ensure support is provided throughout the secure care journey, and that the rights of children, often facing extreme vulnerabilities, needs and risks in their lives, are respected.
Group members had a leading role in supporting the creative co-production programme, bravely sharing their own stories and experiences to inform the programme and reach out to children in secure care, and were involved in drafting the Standards, and creating the website. Members also helped to raise awareness of the Standards through inputs to radio, TV and written media coverage.
STARR is working with Scotland’s root and branch Independent Care Review, ensuring the needs and interests of children in or on the edges of secure care remained central. At the outset, STARR members met with the independent Chair of the Review, presenting a number of key messages and asks. This dialogue continued to shape the Independent Care Review’s inquiries and findings into secure care and approaches to children on the edges of secure care. In addition, STARR members were represented on a number of the Review’s working groups.
The group continues to be at the heart of all discussions and developments related to children in secure care but also in informing policy and practice developments as these relate to children more widely.
STARR is always open to new members. If you would like to get involved with STARR, or know someone who might be interested, please email email@example.com.
Picture caption: Members of STARR and CYCJ pose with the award. They are smiling.