Children looked after by local authorities: legal framework

This report describes key aspects of the law as it applies throughout a child's journey through public care and supervision.

Jackie McRae
commissioned for the review of looked after children in Scotland

Children looked after by local authorities: the legal framework

This report, commissioned by the Social Work Services Inspectorate, now the Social Work Inspection Agency, provides an overview of the legal framework for children 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. Originally prepared in September 2004 as a reference document for the SWIA review team, it is now updated and comprises two parts. Part One identifies the key issues. Part Two explores these issues in more detail and provides a reference to key legal requirements for social work and legal practitioners involved with children who are looked after.

The key messages of this report are that the current legislative framework for looked after children is comprehensive and adequate to meet the needs of those with responsibilities for their care and protection. However, managers and practitioners working with looked after children require an improved knowledge of the law, and a greater understanding of how to use it to help them meet their responsibilities.

© Crown copyright 2006

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