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Looking After the Family: A Study of Children Looked After in Kinship Care in Scotland

DescriptionLooking After the Family: A Study of Children Looked after in Kindship Care in Scotland
Official Print Publication DateSeptember 2006
Website Publication DateSeptember 14, 2006


Jane Aldgate and Miranda McIntosh
commissioned for the review of looked after children in Scotland

ISBN 1 905501 10 2
This document is also available in pdf format (512k)


1 The context of the study
2 Contemporary policies, numbers and trends in kinship care in Scotland
3 The kinship children and their families
4 Living in kinship care - the children's views
5 Maintaining family links with parents and siblings
6 The rewards and challenges of being a kinship carer
7 Children, kinship carers and social work
8 Providing social work services for kinship care
9 Resourcing kinship care
10 Implications for policy and practice

Appendix 1 - Methodology
Appendix 2 - References

Looking after the family: a study of children looked after in kinship care in Scotland

This study was commissioned by the Social Work Services Inspectorate, now the Social Work Inspection Agency. It is published as one of several supporting documents for a wider review of services and outcomes for looked after children in Scotland, the main report of which is entitled Extraordinary Lives.

The last five years has seen a significant rise in the number of children looked after by local authorities in Scotland who are placed with close friends or family. This study aims to provide a fuller picture of how local authorities across the country are supporting kin-ship care placements, and to increase our understanding of the particular benefits which such placements can bring.

The key messages of this study are that being looked after in kinship care is the most appropriate and helpful arrangement for some children who are unable to live with their parents. Kinship care placements can provide stability, a sense of belonging and identity, and the chance to maintain meaningful relationships with important family members. Currently, the level and nature of the support provided for kinship care placements varies across the country. If we are to achieve good outcomes for all of our looked after children, we must make surethat children are enabled to grow up within their extended families, where this is appropriate, and that kinship care placements are adequately, and consistently, supported.

© Crown copyright 2006
Published by the Social Work Inspection Agency, June, 2006