Joint Statement by the Scottish Government and COSLA on Moving Forward in Kinship and Foster Care
The Scottish Government and COSLA welcome the final report of the 'Getting it right for every child in kinship and foster care' reference group 'Moving forward in kinship and foster care. We would like to thank Anne Black in particular for chairing the group, the members of the reference and task groups, and all those who contributed their views through the policy consultation days.
Getting it Right for Every Child in Kinship and Foster Care was one of the first policy documents Scottish Government and COSLA published after the Concordat. The strategy set out our joint vision for children who are looked after by foster carers and kinship carers, and for the carers. It also gave a commitment for a reference group led by the British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) and the Fostering Network (TFN) to report to Ministers, COSLA, ADSW and others on a number of areas:
- recruitment of foster carers
- assessment of foster carers
- training of foster carers
- assessment, approval and support of kinship carers
- organisational arrangements to promote best practice in decision making for looked after children
In the concordat between Scottish Government and COSLA, we set out our intention to develop policy jointly with local government where it has a key interest. It also set out Scottish Government's intention to step back from micro-managing delivery of services. It is in this context that we will be developing our next steps.
Our first priority is to complete implementation of legislation that underpins the decision making process for looked after children. We are finalising new Looked After Children Regulations and regulations to implement the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act which are due to come into force by the end of June. We have already been able to reflect some of the reference group's findings in the draft legislation.
The reference group's report has already made a difference. The guidance on assessing kinship carers is already being used by local authorities and demonstrates that we must also work with UK Government to ensure that benefits system works for kinship carers. The report has informed development of the new Looked After Children Regulations. It will continue inform policy development and practice in foster care and kinship care and more broadly about how we improve decision making for looked after children. Local authorities, fostering agencies and other partners will also want to consider the reference group's recommendations to inform how they develop their practice locally.
The reference group's work has rightly focused very specifically on aspects of kinship and foster care. However, the next steps for national policy development will need to be developed as part of our wider policy priorities, including the Early Years Framework, Getting it Right for Every Child and Changing Lives.
Scottish Government and COSLA will work with partners to make progress in those areas where we can make a significant impact nationally on improving the outcomes for all looked after children, those children who are vulnerable and those who are leaving care to live independently.
This report, our recent report on secure care and our emerging work in the National Residential Child Care Initiative all highlight the priority we must place on developing more effective shared approaches to commissioning services; improving the recruitment and retention of great quality staff and carers; and the responsibility of all agencies to take responsibility for planning and delivering services which will meet the needs of all children but particularly those who may be at risk of poor outcomes.
Mr Adam Ingram MSP - Minister for Children and Early Years
Cllr Isabel Hutton - COSLA Spokesperson for Children and Young People
Final Report on the GIRFEC in Kinship and Foster care Strategy
Report prepared by the tFN - BAAF Reference Group and the project Task Groups
ISBN 978 0 7559 1871 3 (Web only publication)
This document is also available in pdf format (2.9Mb)
2. Executive Summary
4. Analysis of national evidence and trends
5. The work of the Reference Group
6. Related developments during the life of the reference group
7. The vision for children
8. The vision for children in foster care
9. The vision for kinship care
10. Task Groups' reports - General themes
10.1 Recruitment of foster carers
10.1.1 Outcomes for children if successful recruitment is in place
10.2 Assessment of foster carers
10.2.1 Outcomes for children from good practice in assessment
Annex A - Framework -Undertaking Foster Carer Assessments
10.3 Training of foster carers
10.3.1 Outcomes for children from high quality training for foster carers
10.4 Kinship care - assessment, approval and support for kinship carers
10.4.1 Outcomes for children from effective kinship care
10.5 Organisational arrangements to promote best practice in decision- making for looked after children
10.5.1 Outcomes for children if decision making about permanence is effective
1. Analysis of national evidence and trends/ Appendix
2. Membership of the Reference Group and the five Task Groups