LAC Manual - Part 1 Context

The following information is included to provide the contextual background relating to Looked After Children in its widest sense.

National Outcomes and Indicators

  • The Scottish Government has established what it wants to achieve in the next 10 years through the National Performance Framework and the establishment of 15 National Outcomes: the National Outcomes provide a clear structure for delivery of services.
  • The Scottish Government’s National Outcomes result in 45 National Indicators, designed for tracking progress in achieving the National Outcomes.
  • Local Authorities through the Single Outcome Agreement have set performance targets to evidence through the indicators progress made in achieving the Outcomes.
  • The Outcomes most relevant for Looked After Children are:  
    (i) Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.
    (ii) Our children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed.
    (iii) We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk.
    (iv) We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society.

Policy Context

  • In 2001 For Scotland’s Children made recommendations for improved integrated working practices with a focus on improved outcomes for children and families and a better experience for children and families using services.
  • Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) builds on The Children (Scotland) Act 1995.  The goal was for children’s services to work together in a way that from the point of view of the service user it was a single, transparent, responsive service system.
  • September 2008 the Scottish Government issued guidance to all professionals and elected members entitled These Are Our Bairns: a guide for community planning partnerships on being a good corporate parent (2008).
  • Consistent with the outcomes listed above, The Scottish Government articulated a vision that all Scotland’s children should be successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.  In order to achieve this, children need to be Safe, Healthy, Nurtured, Achieving, Respected, Responsible and Included (SHANARRI).
  • The Local Government Scotland Act 2003 placed a duty on local authorities and their partners to develop Community Plans that bring together the delivery of local services.
  • November 2004, the Scottish Government issued the Integrated Children’s Service Planning Guidance to local authorities, NHS boards and other planning partners.  This asked for separate plans and priorities to be drawn together for school education, children’s social work, child health and youth justice into integrated Children’s Service Plans for April 2005.
  • March 2006 the Quality Improvement Framework for Integrated Services for Children and Young People identified key elements to achieve improvements in the quality of children’s services and supported the continued development of Children’s Service Partnerships.
  • Joint Improvement Teams have been set up in relation to commissioning services and are looking at the impact of EU legislation on commissioning, the rights of service users and continuity of care.
  • Revised Statutory Regulations in respect of Looked After Children were published by the Scottish Government in 2009
  • Article 20 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) places a specific duty on governments to provide special care and protection for all children unable to live with their families.
  • The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 section 22 establishes the general duty of local authorities to “safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area who are in need”.
  • The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 section 17 sets the duty of local authorities in respect of “looked after” children to “safeguard and promote his or her welfare”.
  • The Human Rights Act 1998, enacted in Scotland 1999.
  • Looked after Children Regulations 2009.
  • Adoption and Children Act 2007
  • The Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 revised the grounds upon which a child can be referred to a Children’s Hearing and replaced existing Supervision Requirements and Place of Safety orders with new Compulsory Supervision Orders and Movement Restriction Orders. The Act also includes provisions to enforce the duty on the local authority to implement a Compulsory Supervision Order.
  • The Children & Young People’s (Scotland) Act 2014 strengthens the role of the Named Person, the duty to share information relating to the well being of children and the need for “one plan” to co-ordinate any identified support being provided for a child.

View the section Part 1 Guiding Principles

Back to Part 1 Introduction

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