These are our Bairns: a guide for community planning partnerships on being a good corporate parent

The report aims to lay the foundations for corporate parents being able to "give a child in your care the love, security and chances that any good parent would give their child".

It sets out the role of Corporate Parents and what is expected of them, both from a policy perspective and from looked-after young people themselves.

At the time of publishing, local authorities were corporate parents, with the Scottish Government providing the legislative framework in which they operate.

The guide details the role of each aspect of local services, as well as the Scottish Government and the independent sector.

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Getting it Right for Every Child (2008-)

The first guide to the 'Getting it Right for Every Child' (GIRFEC) practice model was published in 2008. It sets out a national approach to improving the lives of children and young people.

The approach looks at eight aspects of wellbeing, working towards ensuring all children are: safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included.

GIRFEC seeks a coordinated approach with a confident and competent workforce, where agencies work together to improve outcomes for children and young people.

The approach introduced a Named Person for every child, as a point of contact for families to get further help, advice and support. This was legislated for in the 2014 Act and the Information Sharing aspects of this approach have been subject to judicial review. The latest policy update on this can be found here.

Where two or more agencies are working together to support a child or young person and their family a Lead Professional will coordinate that help.

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Sweet 16? The age of leaving care in Scotland

A report published by the Scottish Commissioner for Children and Young People to explore the issues around young people leaving care at 16 or 17.

The report made 23 recommendations, including:

  • Change the culture that assumes 16 as the age for leaving care.
  • Ensure workers are trained and informed about young people's rights.
  • Increase awareness of reasons why young people leave care early.
  • Provide more semi-independent living units and prohibit the use of B&Bs or hostels for care leavers.
  • Require Registered Social Landlords to cooperate with local authorities.
  • Encourage local Councillors to enquire into leaving care arrangements.
  • Remove barriers to young people returning to former care placement for overnight stays.
  • Encourage Scottish Government to consider amending legal threshold for aftercare.
  • Gather data to monitor what is happening.

The report concluded that 16 "should not be the end of 'care'" and that "young people should stay in care until 18 if their welfare requires it, and they should be properly supported after that".

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