The right to sibling contact is now part of the Scots law!

Date: 30th July 2021
Category: Family reunification, General measures of implementation, Best interests of the child, Policies & procedures

Three brown haired children sit around a dinner table with a parent. There is salad and chicken on the table and the parent is holding a hot dish, ready to be served.

From 26th July 2021, the law has changed on what councils and the Children’s Hearings System must do to help siblings.

Councils and the Children’s Hearings System must now help Care Experienced siblings to have contact with each other. This applies to siblings with the same parent, children and young people who have lived together like siblings and children and young people who consider each other as siblings. These changes to the law mean that if sibling contact does not happen, then siblings and their advocates can challenge this.

These changes to the law also make it easier for siblings to take part in each other’s Children’s Hearings. Siblings can request to do the following:

  • Be notified and attend a hearing
  • Receive and submit papers
  • Be represented at the panel

To do all of the above, it must be first decided if a sibling is a person afforded the opportunity to participate.Clan Childlaw has more information on what this means here.

Together welcomes these changes to the law as it protects children and young people’s right to family life as set out in Article 16 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Congratulations to all the children, young people and members who have campaigned for these changes!

Find out more about this change in law from the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland here.