J ane Aldgate and Miranda McIntosh
commissioned for the review of looked after children in Scotland
This document is also available in pdf format (184k)
1 Introduction and general context
3 The findings
4 Summarising the findings
5 Case studies of children's diaries
6 Children's evaluations of participating in the study
Appendix - References
This study was commissioned by the Social Work Services Inspectorate, now the Social Work Inspection Agency, 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.
This is the first study to focus on the everyday activities of children and young people who are looked after by local authorities in Scotland. Its aim is to help us better understand how looked after children spend their time, what activities and interests are most important to them, and how their activities relate to their physical and emotional development and well-being.
The key messages of this study are that looked after children are ordinary children with the same interests as other children. They therefore need to have the same opportunities as other children to develop and pursue those interests. But where looked after children differ from their peers, is in the circumstances in which they live, and often, the experiences they have had in the past. They may find it harder than other children to participate in ordinary activities. The adults in their lives therefore need to think and plan carefully, and provide additional resources where necessary, to make sure that looked after children have the same opportunities as others.
Sometimes, it may take extraordinary effort to achieve ordinary experiences for looked after children.