Care experienced is a term used to describe anyone who has been or is currently in care or from a looked-after background.

You're considered care experienced if you’ve been in any of these settings at any point in your life:

  • Residential or secure care
  • Foster care
  • Kinship care
  • Looked-after at home with a supervision requirement
  • Any kind of care pre or after adoption

The term 'care experienced’ is not a legal term, but it’s one that has special meaning for many of the people who identify with it.

Not everyone who could identify as care experienced will choose to do so, as it may feel stigmatising.

The promise

The promise is that Scotland's children and young people will grow up loved, safe and respected.

When findings of Scotland's Independent Care Review were published in 2020, Scotland's then First Minister pledged that the country would #KeepThePromise.

How does Falkirk Council keep the promise?

We listen to our care experienced children and young people and respect . An example of this is In Falkirk we have Falkirk Family and Friends that carry out our Corporate parent duties as young people did not like the term ‘corporate parent ‘ and voted to change it.

Falkirk Champions Board formally launched in September 2017. The Champions Board is a way for Falkirk’s looked after children and young people to have a voice in how they are cared for, and to influence policy and practice.

In Falkirk Care Experienced became a protected characteristic in June 2023, this means that the Care experienced community needs will be considered alongside gender, disability and race when any policies or decisions are being made.

THe board meets four times per year, it is planned and lead by the Falkirk Champs who are Care experienced young people who are working to make positive change to the system. the board's membership includes people from within the council like the Falkirk Council Chief Executive, the Leader of the Council, services managers and elected Councilors from across the parties as well as leads from other services and partners for example Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue and Children hearings.

Watch the Falkirk Champs on YouTube.

Help for care experienced

Universities and colleges have specific contacts for people from care-experienced backgrounds. This is someone who can support you when you’re studying.

Higher education (universities)

If you're care-experienced, you can apply to SAAS for a Care Experienced Bursary to help with your studies. You need to be studying an eligible HE course.

The amount available is £9,000 and is not assessed on your household income.

Further education (colleges)

If you have been looked after in the UK care system, you can apply for this non-means tested maintenance allowance.

This is a bursary of £202.50 per week, and is not assessed on your household income.

Contact your college to find out how to apply, and what evidence you need to support your application.

Support for young people

If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 999 right away.

You can call Police Scotland on 101 to speak to the police about something that isn’t urgent.

You can call NHS24 on 111 to talk about any non-urgent health problems.

If someone you know is being harmed or is at risk of harm, you can talk to our Social Work team' You don’t need to tell us your name, but it may help.

We’ll treat any information you share with us as confidential, and only share it with people who can help.

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm:

All other times:

If you’re a care experienced person and you need to talk to someone, Who Cares? Scotland has a helpline. It’s open Monday to Friday, from 12pm to 4pm.

You can access the helpline by:

Falkirk Champs Promise logo
Falkirk Champs logo