Jane Scott and Malcolm Hill
commissioned for the review of looked after children in Scotland
ISBN 1 905501 12 9
This document is also available in pdf format (140k)
2 The health needs of children and young people across Scotland
3 The health needs of looked after and accommodated children and young people
4 Factors affecting the health of looked after and accommodated children and young people
5 The health needs of young people leaving, or who have recently left, care
6 What do young people think about health issues?
7 Messages for policy and practice
Appendix - Textual References
The Health of Looked After and Accommodated Children and Young People in Scotland
This report, commissioned by the Social Work Services Inspectorate, now the Social Work Inspection Agency, provides a review of literature relating to the health of children and young people looked after by local authorities in Scotland. It is published as one of several supporting documents for a wider review of services and outcomes for looked after children, the main report of which is entitled Extraordinary Lives. The content of this report does not necessarily reflect the views of the Social Work Inspection Agency or the Scottish Executive.
The review team chose health as an area for detailed study because we consider it a fundamental aspect of children's well-being.
The key messages of this report are that children and young people who are looked after by local authorities have the same health needs as other young people but their backgrounds and past experiences, and sometimes their experiences while they are looked after, make them especially vulnerable. In particular, many looked after young people have to cope with sadness, distress and trauma which affects their mental health and causes them to behave in ways that put their health and safety at risk. Our aim is for looked after children to be physically and emotionally healthy as young people, and to grow into healthy and confident adults. To achieve this, young people need appropriate responses from the adults around them, stable and consistent care which meets their needs, and help to recover from past trauma.
Malcolm Hill is Research Professor, University of Strathclyde; Director of the Glasgow Centre for the Child and Society School of Social Work, Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde; Associate Director of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships
Jane Scott is Lecturer in Child Protection Studies, Dundee University and Research Fellow at the Centre for Child and Family Research, Loughborough University.