Report of the expert committee on how to deal with children in trouble which influenced the establishment of the Children's Hearings system



The Kilbrandon Report was, and still remains, one of the most influential policy statements on how a society should deal with cc children in trouble". Though it is now over thirty years since it was first published, current debate about child care practices and polices in Scotland with a new Children (Scotland) Bill imminent, still resonates with principles and philosophies derived from the Kilbrandon Report itself. What is also remarkable is that the institutional framework for supporting children and families established on the basis of the key recommendations of the report has been largely unchanged since it was introduced in 1971.

Reprinting the report is then both important because of the direction it gave to child care all those years ago, and timely, in the light of changes introduced in law through the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. However, it took a chance suggestion by Sally Kuenssberg, herself actively involved in the provision of training for the Children's Hearings, to point out the difficulty of obtaining a copy of one of the most important documents in the history of Scottish child welfare. The whole process of reprinting the report would not have begun had it not been for her suggestion, and she is due many thanks.

The link with the original report is, of course, strengthened through the introduction for the reprint written by Emeritus Prof Fred Stone, who was himself one of the members of the Kilbrandon Committee and who has contributed so much to the development of the Scottish Children's Hearings system through his writing and involvement in training.

In reprinting the report a decision was made to reproduce the text in a format as near the original as possible, to maintain a degree of historical authenticity. Appearing as it does, however, in the Children in Society series, an index has been added to the reprint to further assist those who may be less familiar with the contents. I feel particularly proud that the report has been reprinted in the Children in Society series and I am confident that its availability will be greatly appreciated by the wider readership it should thereby reach.

Professor Stewart Asquith
General Series Editor

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