Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stability For Children

New laws to improve stability for young people in care and minimise upheaval as they grow up were unveiled today.

The measures will lead to better long-term planning by councils for children in care to ensure both their immediate and future needs are fully considered.

The Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 Regulations and Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 - which follow extensive consultation with interest groups across Scotland - will:

* provide children in care with more certainty and stability about their long-term future with a new family through the introduction of Permanence Orders

* ensure the network of wider family and friends is considered first for care placements, if in the child's best interests

* improve the planning and reviewing of care arrangements to help reduce the number of different homes that children are placed in and ensure appropriate family support if the young person is to return to their parents

Children's Minister Adam Ingram said:

"In an ideal world there would be no need to remove any child from their birth parents but sadly that is not the reality and I am determined to ensure young people in care get the best support possible as they grow up.

"The decision to take a child into care is always made on the best interests of the young person and the numbers are increasing, suggesting those in need are being identified and agencies are intervening to get them support and security.

"Yet it is crucial that we minimise further turmoil for these young people and we don't want to see them being moved around on a series of unsettling short-term placements.

"That's why we have listened to views and are moving to ensure stability and the child's long-term needs are treated as a priority, whether that means exploring what support their parents would need for them to return or looking at the alternatives. If it is best for the child, the network of wider family and friends should also be considered first for placements.

"We're clear that outcomes for looked after young people must get better and last year we launched measures to improve their educational achievement. Yet life chances also depend on children being happy and settled with a sense of belonging which is why these regulations are so important."

Full story Source The Scottish Government 22 April 2009


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