New Bill to improve Scotland's family courts processes introduced

Date: 11th September 2019
Category: Family Environment and Alternative Care


The proposed legislation will update the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and aims to improve the experience of children involved in family law cases.

Proposals in the Children (Scotland) Bill include:

  • Regulation of child contact centres to ensure these are safe places for children to meet family members.
  • Regulation of child welfare reporters, who may be appointed when the court has been asked to resolve a dispute between parents. This will ensure reporters are trained to understand and respond to issues such as domestic abuse and coercive control.
  • Improvements for domestic abuse victims and their children including use of screens and a live video links in Child Welfare Hearings, and prohibiting a party from conducting their own case if there is a vulnerable witness.

The Children (Scotland) Bill is designed to further strengthen the family law system and follows a consultation which took into account the views and ideas of children and young people.