Report on deaths of looked after children in Scotland 2012-2018

Date: 11th March 2020
Category: Family Environment and Alternative Care

The Care Inspectorate report draws attention to themes emerging from notifications of the deaths of 61 care experienced children and young people during the period.

It contains key messages for all those with corporate parenting responsibilities including practitioners, leaders of services for children and young people, scrutiny bodies and policy makers.  

The report is based on analysis of notifications, reports and associated documents submitted to the Care Inspectorate about circumstances surrounding the deaths of 42 children and young people between 2012–18 and notifications of the deaths of a further 19 young people in receipt of continuing care or aftercare between 2015–18. 

Of the 42 children who died between 2012-18, 16 were children whose death could be anticipated due to a life shortening condition or terminal illness. 

The report says that the development of a National Hub for Reviewing and Learning from the Deaths of Children and Young People provides an opportunity to streamline current review processes following the death of a looked after child and to extend learning from the deaths of looked after children and young people to include reviews of those up to 26 years-old in receipt of continuing care or aftercare. 

Vulnerable young person’s procedures have proved to be a useful tool in assessing and meeting the needs of young people whose behaviour may place them at risk. The report suggests that their use be adopted more widely; and notes that child protection committees that have not already done so may wish to consider whether practice would be strengthened by developing and implementing them. 

The report also says more needs to be done to ensuring the availability of mental and emotional health services for vulnerable and looked after children and young people.