Children and young people ‘Looked after at home’ in Scotland

Date: 6th October 2015
Category: Looked after children
Author: Centre for Excellence for Looked after Children

CELCIS has published a series of reports exploring the unique issues for children and young people looked after at home in Scotland.

Little research has been conducted about children looked after at home, yet home supervision has been available for forty years and these children and young people currently make up a quarter to a third of Scotland's looked after children.

The research found that:

  • the needs and circumstances of children looked after at home are complex, with their needs being as severe as many other looked after children.
  • support services are often limited, inconsistent, and patchy. While service providers recognise the needs of these children, they can't always respond because sometimes they feel their duties to other looked after children must take precedence;
  • outcomes for this group are some of the poorest in society, in particular poor education outcomes and involvement in the criminal justice system.

CELCIS are calling for greater investment in effective family support services which will bring about a more concentrated and consistent approach to assisting these young people and their families.

Jennifer Davidson, Director said;

'One challenge is ensuring that children and young people who are looked after at home receive the same priority as other their looked after children. They can have equally difficult experiences and their outcomes are often worse in areas such as education and wellbeing.

'These children and young people could be living in difficult circumstances and their families may face challenges such as poverty, domestic violence, addiction and ill health. They need a different type of support compared to other looked after children and currently their needs are not always met.'

The Report was commissioned by Barnardo's and conducted by CELCIS.