At a recent Sanctuary event, I was sharing our new practice framework, Roots to Growth, with a group of Sanctuary members, who all live and practice outside the UK.  It was a wonderful opportunity to share our development and have them reflect on their own developments and question ours.   

I was reminded by the emails received following the presentation, just how much we in Scotland have to be proud of.  As we rightly strive to build a country that cares and eradicate the negative aspects of our ‘system’, we must also recognise the strength in some of what we have. Young people’s needs are at the centre of our legislation, relationships are recognised as the key to unlocking growth and change, and we have some amazing people in all parts of the workforce who despite the ‘system’ barriers will do what is right for the child. 

Listening to people from other countries helps us consider other options, different ways of working and theoretical concepts.  Within Care Visions, there have been many opportunities for learning, which have had a positive impact on practice -from adopting the Sanctuary model in 2007 to Social Pedagogy learning and international trips and visitors from all around the world.   It is important that we look to other cultures and expand our horizons.    

Learning and more importantly reflecting on how the learning can positively impact practice is essential if we are going to continue to develop.  What my recent experience reminded me was that as well as looking out, we must also look within.  New is not always better, sometimes what we have just needs a polish.   

Our practice has continued to develop and we remain accredited by the Sanctuary Institute, however in 2020, with the opportunities given through the Promise, and the support of Laura Steckley from Strathclyde University, we began an exercise to look at how we could enhance what we do.  The result was our Roots to Growth practice framework.  A framework that keeps relationships at the centre of all we do; appreciates the human need for a sense of self, competence and hope; and explicitly recognises the importance of the milieu.