The cost of the public consultation Children (Scotland) Act 2020 - registers of child welfare reporters, curators ad litem and solicitors: consultation alone.
The Public Petitions Committee on hearing petition PE01790: Parental and familial alienation on 3 September 2020: The Committee agreed to close the petition under Rule 15.7 of Standing Orders on the basis that the Scottish Government recognises parental alienation may occur and will train Child Welfare Reporters to identify situations where a child has been turned against a parent; training requirements will be set by regulations and there will be a full public consultation on these criteria which the petitioner can input into.
Please direct me to the section or URL of the criteria offered in the consultation that the Scottish Government recognises parental alienation may occur, and will train Child Welfare Reporters to identify situations where a child has been turned against a parent; training requirements will be set by regulations and there will be a full public consultation on this specific consultation criteria.
To simplify the question: was the issue of parental alienation or situations where a child has been turned against a parent actually included in the public consultation Children (Scotland) Act 2020?
The consultation paper is available on our website.
Cost of the consultation - publication
You asked how much the consultation cost. The publication of the consultation cost £1,449.04. That is the amount that we paid to APS Group (Scotland) Limited, supplier of our publishing, print and design (PPDAS) framework. The services provided by APS Group in this case included:
- Checking the document we supplied for accessibility compliance
- Applying the standard Scottish Government web cover including copyright information, International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and PPDAS product code
- Providing Portable Document Format (PDF) proof(s) for approval
- Converting the document to web PDF and Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) for publication on the Scottish Government website.
Cost of the consultation - other costs
We do not hold any information on other costs associated with the consultation. The Scottish Government does not routinely record information on staff time spent on individual pieces work. The consultation was prepared by existing staff as part of their regular duties. We did not record the time staff spent working on this consultation.
As such, I hereby give you formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you requested.
Parental alienation / turning a child against a parent
You asked whether the issue of parental alienation or situations where a child has been turned against a parent was actually included in the consultation. I can confirm that there is a reference to "alienating behaviour" at paragraph 2.52 of the consultation:
"During the passage of the Bill suggestions for eligibility requirements were put forward, in terms of training, qualifications and experience, in the following areas:
- coercive control and alienating behaviour
- domestic abuse
- influence of a parent
- how to take the views of the child
- how to look after children’s information
- child development
- learning disabilities."
The Scottish Government considers that alienating behaviour is one of the ways in which an adult can negatively influence a child. In the rest of the consultation, we refer to understanding the ways adults (or parents) can influence a child.
For example, paragraph 2.56 of the consultation says:
"The Scottish Government suggests that an individual would be eligible to be included on the register of child welfare reporters if they can demonstrate relevant skills and experience in:
- communicating with children including obtaining the views of children
- understanding domestic abuse, particularly the dynamic of coercive control
- report writing
- understanding the ways adults can influence a child
- understanding family conflict
- child development including learning disabilities
- understanding of child protection issues and the child protection system."
Understanding the ways an adult or parent can influence a child includes alienating behaviour but also a wider range of ways that an adult can influence a child. For example, it would include the influence an adult can have on a child expressing their views. The court will often ask a child welfare reporter to report on the child's views. It is therefore important that reporters understand the various ways a child can be influenced by the adults in their life.
There are similar references in paragraph 2.61 of the consultation, and in the Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA):
- Stage 2, under the headings "Article 3", "Article 7", "Article 8" and "Article 9"
- under the heading "2. What impact will the policy/measure will have on children’s rights?"
- under the heading "3. Will there be different impacts on different groups of children and young people?"
- under the heading "5. How will the policy/measure contribute to the wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland?" - see the wellbeing indicator "Safe".
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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