Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001

Section 73 amends Section 29 of the 1995 Act and requires local authorities to carry out an assessment of the aftercare needs of young people who have been looked after.

Local authorities are also required to establish a procedure for dealing with representations, including complaints, about how they discharge these functions.

In anticipation of local authorities taking on this role, Section 6 of the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 applied to Scotland and removed eligibility to benefits for some care leavers.

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For Scotland's Children

Set out the Scottish Ministers aspirations for integrated children's services in Scotland.

Six 'action points' were detailed:

  • Children's services should be considered as a single system.
  • Joint children's services plans should be put in place.
  • Local authorities should ensure inclusive access to universal services (such as housing, health or educational services).
  • Coordinate needs assessment, including the provision of a "named individual who can function of the main point of information/reference for the child".
  • Where more intense/complex intervention is required, this should be coordinated through a 'care coordinator' (who may also be the named individual).
  • Additional services should be targeted to meet need and reduce inequalities.

Amongst the recommendations, the report called for:

  • Child Impact Assessments for all policy;
  • the establishment of a workforce planning group for children's services;
  • greater coordination between local authorities and health boards;
  • the development of a consistent assessment format; and
  • a change support agency should be established to facilitate integrated children's services, this could be located within a Children's Commissioner's remit.

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Learning with Care

Commissioned by the government in 1999, this report detailed the findings of a joint investigation by HM Inspectors of Schools (HMI) and the Social Work Services Inspectorate (SWSI) into the education of children looked after by local authorities.

The report called for local authorities to take action to assess the needs of looked-after young people and to monitor their progress.

The report made nine recommendations:

  • a full assessment should be carried out when a child becomes looked-after and should include a "baseline for future educational progress";
  • quality assurance procedures should be in place to ensure statutory requirements are being met effectively;
  • "except in exceptional circumstances, all looked after children should have permanent full-time education";
  • schools should identify learning needs of all looked-after children and a senior member of staff should maintain an overview of progress;
  • local authorities should develop an integrated policy that ensures the educational needs of looked-after children are met and they should provide professional development for the workforce to ensure its implementation;
  • parents having contact with their children should receive regular information about progress at school;
  • quality assurance audits of residential units should be conducted;
  • explicit and targeted consideration of the education of looked-after children should be included in Children's Services Plans and reviews; and
  • a range of accurate statistics should be kept on the education of looked-after children.

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