Guidance on Part 11 (Continuing Care) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014

Explains the new provision of Continuing Care introduced by Part 11 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Interpretation of Key Terms


16. The term 'Aftercare' refers to the advice, guidance and assistance provided to care leavers under section 29 of the 1995 Act. Section 29(1) and (2) of the 1995 Act (as amended by section 66 of the 2014 Act) specifies the descriptions of care leavers that are eligible or potentially eligible for Aftercare. Any young person who ceases to be looked after on or after their sixteenth birthday and is less than twenty-six years of age are eligible (between sixteen and nineteen) or potentially eligible (between nineteen and twenty-six) for Aftercare. Prior to the 2014 Act changes young people who ceased to be looked after beyond their minimum school leaving age and were less than twenty-one years of age were eligible or potentially eligible for Aftercare.

17. It is important to note that eligibility for Aftercare applies to all care leavers, regardless of their placement type while they were looked after.

Care Leaver

18. For the purposes of this guidance a 'care leaver' is a young person who meets the descriptions set out in section 29 and section 30 of the 1995 Act (as amended by section 66 of the 2014 Act).

19. From 1 April 2015 a care leaver is a young person who ceased to be looked after on, or at any time after, their sixteenth birthday. This replaces the previous care leaver definition of a young person who ceased to be looked after over school leaving age.

20. Please note that care leavers under the previous definition will continue to be considered care leavers after 1 April 2015, and therefore remain covered by the duties set out in section 29 and section 30 of the 1995 Act (as amended by section 66 of 2014 Act). This definition also applies to duties set out in Part 9 (Corporate Parenting) of the 2014 Act.

Care Placement

21. The term 'care placement' refers to a placement for a looked after child (as described in section 26(1) (a) of the 1995 Act) with a family, relative or other suitable person or residential establishment.


22. Under the Continuing Care provisions of the 2014 Act, 'carer' means the family or persons with whom the placement is made.

Continuing Care

23. The term 'Continuing Care' refers to a local authority's duty under section 26A of the 1995 Act to provide, subject to a welfare assessment, young people born after 1 April 1999 and who are at least aged sixteen but have not reached the higher age (as specified by Ministerial Orders) and whose final 'looked after' placement was in foster, kinship or residential care with the same accommodation and other assistance as was being provided by the local authority, immediately before the young person ceased to be looked after.

24. The aim of Continuing Care is to provide young people with a more graduated transition out of care, reducing the risk of multiple simultaneous disruptions occurring in their lives while maintaining supportive relationships. It is a new term introduced by Part 11 of the 2014 Act.

Corporate Parent

25. The definition of a 'corporate parent' is provided by section 56 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. An organisation or individual is a corporate parent if they are listed, or within a description listed, in schedule 4 [3] of the Act.

Corporate Parenting

26. For the purposes of the statutory guidance on Part 9 (Corporate Parenting) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, the term corporate parenting is defined as

"An organisation's performance of actions necessary to uphold the rights and safeguard the wellbeing of a looked after child or care leaver, and through which physical, emotional, spiritual, social and educational development is promoted." [4]

27. In relation to wellbeing, the term 'promoted' means 'actively encouraged or further developed'. The term 'safeguarded' means 'protected from harm or damage'. The term 'affected' means 'influenced, changed'.

28. The necessary actions or duties of corporate parents are set out in Part 9, section 58 (Corporate Parenting responsibilities) of the 2014 Act.

Looked After Child

29. The definition of a 'looked after child' is set out in section 17(6) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 (the 1995 Act), as amended by the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 (the 2007 Act) and Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 (the 2011 Act). A child is 'looked after' by a local authority when he or she is:

a) provided with accommodation by a local authority under section 25 of the 1995 Act; or

b) subject to a compulsory supervision order or an interim compulsory supervision order made by a children 's hearing in respect of whom the local authority is the implementation authority (within the meaning of the 2011 Act); or

c) living in Scotland and subject to an order in respect of whom a Scottish local authority has responsibilities, as a result of a transfer of an order under regulations made under section 33 of the 1995 Act or section 190 of the 2011 Act; or

d) subject to a Permanence Order made after an application by the local authority under section 80 of the 2007 Act.

30. To assist in the provision of their care some children and young people with disabilities are 'looked after' by local authorities (often under section 25 of the 1995 Act arrangement). These children and young people are legally 'looked after', and so covered by the duties set out in Part 11 of the 2014 Act.

31. A child who has been adopted, or a child who is secured in a placement with friends or relatives by means of a Kinship Care Order (under section 11 of the 1995 Act), is not considered 'looked after'. In this guidance the terms 'looked after young person' and 'looked after young people' refer to any individual falling into the definition provided above.

32. As young people can be uncomfortable with the label 'looked after child', and in view of the focus of this guidance (Continuing Care) the terms 'looked after young person' or 'looked after young people' are used.


33. An individual's 'needs' will be unique, identified through the process of assessment. For details about how 'needs' should be identified please refer to the section of the guidance on Welfare Assessment and assessing young people for Continuing Care.


34. The term 'throughcare' refers to the advice and assistance provided to looked after children with a view to preparing them for when they are no longer looked after by a local authority. Local authorities are under a duty to provide such assistance to all looked after children under section 17(2) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. For more guidance on throughcare, please refer to the Supporting Young People Leaving Care in Scotland: Regulations and Guidance on Services for Young People Ceasing to be Looked After by Local Authorities published in 2004.

Wellbeing (as described in section 96 of the 2014 Act)

35. Section 96(2) of the Act describes the term 'wellbeing' in terms of eight indicators. A person assessing a child or young person's wellbeing is to do so by reference to the extent to which the child or young person is or, as the case may be, would be:

Safe: protected from abuse, neglect or harm.

Healthy: having the best possible standards of physical and mental health, supported to make healthy and safe choices.

Achieving: accomplishing goals and boosting skills, confidence and self-esteem.

Nurtured: having a nurturing and stimulating place to live and grow.

Active: having opportunities to take part in activities.

Respected: being given a voice, being listened to, and being involved in the decisions which affect their wellbeing.

Responsible: taking an active role within their home, school and community

Included: being a full member of the communities in which they live and learn, receiving help and guidance to overcome inequalities.

36. These eight wellbeing indicators are sometimes known collectively by the acronym ' SHANARRI'. While each indicator is separately defined, in practice they are connected and overlapping. Taken together the eight indicators offer a holistic view of each child or young person, identifying strengths as well as barriers to growth and development.


Back to top