Children and Young People Bill – Looked After Children
The bill is intended to help realise the Scottish Government’s ambition for Scotland’s children: “This Government’s vision for children and young people is clear: We want Scotland to be the best place in the world for them to grow up. A place where rights are respected and where children can access all the opportunities and support they need, when they need it.” – Children’s Minister, Aileen Campbell.
We have already focused on Children’s Rights, now we are examining the implications with regard to Looked After Children:
LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN
The term ‘Looked After Children’ is generally defined as those in the care of their local authority, though a more full explanation is available on the Scottish Government website. In July 2011 there were over 16,000 Looked After Children in Scotland.
Bill aim: Improving/extending support and preventative help for looked after children through legislation around kinship care, corporate parenting and the use of the national adoption register.
- Kinship Care
– CYP Bill – Quick poll: Do you think that kinship carers should be recognised legally on the same footing as parents?
Kinship care is when a young person is looked after by a relative because they are unable to return home for whatever reason. The proposed bill would recognise the parenting role played by kinship carers. It’s envisaged the change would make it easier for children to be looked after more permanently in a stable environment with other family members where that is possible, for example with Grandparents or an older sibling.
- Corporate Parenting
Corporate Parenting is when different services work together to help children leaving care, at present corporate parenting is inconsistently defined across Scotland. The proposed bill would give a national recognised legal definition to corporate parenting and state the organisations or public bodies to which the collective responsibility applies.
- Extended support for young adults leaving care
The provision in the bill is to extend leaving care support for anything up to age 25. This extends the current provision which fixed a maximum age for providing support at 21. The bill aims to allow for support to care leavers to be provided by their (corporate) parents – mirroring what happens in families across Scotland.
- National Adoption Register
The use of National Adoption register by all local authorities could be made compulsory. This aims to speed up the adoption process, enabling quicker matching to suitable adopters, thereby reducing the amount of time spent in care for those children whose needs are best met through adoption.
This article is part of a series on Engage about the CYP Bill. The bill team are also keen to hear your views in the formal consultation:
Children and Young People Bill – Public Consultation [Closes - 25/09/12]
The Scottish Government’s consultation on the Children and Young People Bill runs from 4 July to 25 September 2012, on proposals for new legislation to help make Scotland the best place for children to grow up.
Follow ongoing discussion around the Bill and other related areas via the hash tag: #bestplacetogrowup
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