National Care Standards: Adoption Agencies: Revised March 2005

National Care Standards: Adoption Agencies: Revised March 2005 Edition

Annex C Useful reference material


The Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978

This is the main adoption law in Scotland.

The Children (Scotland) Act 1995

The Act puts children first. Each child has the right to:

  • be treated as an individual;
  • form and express views on matters affecting him or her and to have these taken account of; and
  • be protected from all forms of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

Parents and local authorities have rights and responsibilities in achieving the balance of care.

The Act is accompanied by four volumes of regulations and guidance, Scotland's Children (1997).

The Data Protection Act 1998

The Act covers how information about living, identifiable people is used. All organisations that hold or process personal data must comply.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995

This wide-ranging Act, which came into force in 1996, makes it illegal to discriminate against disabled people in employment, access to goods, services, transport and education.

The Human Rights Act 1998

The Act incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into Scots and English law in relation to the acts of public bodies. Its purpose is to protect human rights and to maintain and promote the ideals and values of a democratic society. The Articles of Convention include:

  • freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
  • freedom of expression;
  • freedom of assembly and association;
  • the right to have respect for private and family life; and
  • the right to marry.

The Police Act 1997

Part V of the Police Act 1997 was implemented in April 2002. This provides for the Scottish Criminal Record Office to issue criminal record information certificates to individuals and organisations.

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998

The Act protects workers who 'blow the whistle' about wrongdoing. It mainly takes the form of amendments to the Employment Rights Act 1996, and makes provision about the kinds of disclosures which may be protected; the circumstances in which such disclosures are protected; and the persons who may be protected.

The Race Relations Act 1976

The Act makes racial discrimination illegal in employment, service delivery, training and other areas.

The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

The Act makes racial discrimination illegal in public activities that were not previously covered. It puts a general duty on public organisations to promote race equality.

The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001

The Act establishes a new system of care service regulation including the registration and inspection of care services which takes account of national care standards. The Act also creates two new national, independent bodies, the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care, to regulate care services, and the Scottish Social Services Council, to regulate the social service workforce and to promote and regulate its education and training.

You can visit these websites for information:

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

The Act enables some criminal convictions to become 'spent' or ignored, after a rehabilitation period. The rehabilitation period is a set length of time from the date of conviction.

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 makes it unlawful to discriminate on grounds of sex or marital status in recruitment, promotion and training. The Act also covers education, the provision of housing, goods and services and advertising.


Aiming for Excellence: Modernising Social Work Services in Scotland 1999

The White Paper sets out the proposals to strengthen the protection of children and vulnerable adults and to make sure high quality services are provided. The Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care is an independent regulator set up for this purpose.

The Way Forward for Care

The Scottish Executive Policy Position Paper of July 2000 develops the proposals set out in Aiming for Excellence. It includes proposals for regulating independent healthcare.

Our National Health 2000

The health plan aims to improve Scotland's health and close the health gap between rich and poor, restoring the NHS as a national service and improving care and standards.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Convention is not a law but a code that the Government signed up to in 1991. It recognises that young people under 18 in Scotland do have rights. These rights must be given fairly, and children and young people must be kept safe and well, and able to take part in society.

Other useful references

The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 Regulations and Guidance Volume 3.

Adoption and Parental Responsibilities Orders (1997).

Department of Health (1999) Adoption Now, Messages from Research, Chichester, Wiley.

Fahlberg V. (1999), A Child's Journey Through Placement, London, BAAF

Lowe N., Murch M., (2000)Supporting Adoption, Reframing the Approach, London BAAF.

Triseliotis J., Shireman, Hundleby M., (1999), Adoption; Theory, Policy and Practice, London, Cassell.

Valuing Diversity - having regard to the racial, religious, cultural and linguistic needs of Scotland's children, The Scottish Office (1998).

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