Stage 3 of the Children (Scotland) Bill to take place on 25th August 2020
Date: 20th August 2020
Category: Family Environment and Alternative Care
The Children (Scotland) Bill seeks to introduce changes on how disputes within families over the care of a child are resolved. Stage 2 amendments have been made and the final stage of the Bill is now imminent.
The main issues attracting attention at Stage 1 and 2 of the Bill were:
- How to ensure children's effective participation in decisions affecting them, including how to build the infrastructure to support this in practice.
- The regulation and future resourcing of child contact centres.
- Resourcing of a new duty on local authorities to promote contact between looked after children and their siblings.
The main issues going into Stage 3 are:
- Whether unsuccessful non-government amendments on child contact centres tabled at Stage 2 will be revisited at Stage 3.
- How statutory provision(s) concerning confidentiality of information about children should be drafted.
- Whether any changes to the Bill will be made in relation to grandparents and shared parenting.
- The current statutory terminology associated with parenting disputes - which some stakeholders have argued is outdated.
- Whether non-government amendments on alternative dispute resolution made at Stage 2 are retained at Stage 3.
Follow the Bill’s progress here.
The Bill as it stands after Stage 2 can be found here.
Revised Explanatory Notes for the Bill as amended at Stage 2 are here.
The Scottish Parliament Information Centre's Research Briefing on the discussion of the Bill ahead of Stage 3 is here.
A Scottish Government paper on ways in which children can give their views in court published as part of scrutiny of the Bill can be found here.
A supplementary financial memorandum has been published here.