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Guidance on Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 and the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007

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PART IX LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN PLACED IN RESIDENTIAL ESTABLISHMENTS, REGULATIONS 34 AND 35

Regulations 34 and 35, Children placed in residential establishments

Regulations 34 and 35 cover those aspects of residential care that relate to the placement of looked after children in residential establishments. They cover the two areas of notifications of placements and the information to be supplied.

Regulation 34 mirrors the similar regulation 29 about notifications following placement with a foster carer. The same notifications, including to education and health services, are required when children are placed in residential establishments, under this regulations. For more detail, the guidance for Regulation 29 should be consulted.

Regulation 35 serves a similar function for placement in a residential unit as the foster placement agreement in Schedule 4 (with the carer agreement in Schedule 6) fulfils for placement with a foster carer. This regulation addresses in slightly different wording the information that the local authority must provide to the residential unit, and also the expectations of the care that will be offered to the child. Please see guidance on Regulation 27.

The general principle applying to the provision of information for a residential unit is that it must be as comprehensive as that provided for a child living in any other care setting. There is the same intention that the local authority and the residential unit must working in partnership for the child's best interests. This needs to be based on a shared understanding of all the relevant issues for the child. In a similar way to placement in foster care, there should be a risk assessment where information is shared about any risk factors arising from either the child's history and behaviour or/and from the composition of the residential unit. As such placements are frequently of older children and young people, the child's views and understanding of the aims of the placement will form a central part of planning.

Regulation 35(b)(ii) highlights the reality that some children are placed in a residential unit because of their challenging or risky behaviour. Discussion of the placement should include consideration of appropriate sanctions and means of controlling such behaviour; and how the unit and children's social workers will plan interventions together, to address children's problems. This must be balanced by a programme to support children's development, and build their skills and resilience. This in turn ties in with the specific requirement in regulation 35(b)(iv) to consider children's educational needs.