Stage 3 of the Children (Scotland) Bill to take place on 25th August 2020

Date: 20th August 2020
Category: Family Environment and Alternative Care

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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  • The current statutory terminology associated with parenting disputes - which some stakeholders have argued is outdated.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.