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Looked After Children

Children and young people under the care and supervision of a Local Authority are referred to as “Looked After Children”.

Looked After Children fall into two categories:

Looked After and Accommodated

These are children and young people placed with foster carers, in a residential unit setting, or with relatives by the local authority or by the Children’s Hearings system.

Looked After at Home

These are children who are made subject to a Compulsory Supervision Order via the Children’s Hearing system, but remain at home with their families receiving support and assistance to address the grounds of referral that led to their attendance at a Children’s Hearing. See SCRA links above for more information.

Children's Hearings

You can view or download various Scottish Children's Reporter Administration (SCRA) leaflets from their website including

Principal Statutory Legislation

The principal statutory legislation that outlines the local authority's responsibilities towards "looked after children" are the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, the Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 and the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007:

Section 25 of Children (Scotland) Act 1995

Sees children and young people looked after and accommodated usually with foster carers, at the request of their parents. It is therefore a voluntary agreement.

Section 91 and 119 of the Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011

This is the statute by which children become subject to Compulsory Supervision Orders (either at home or accommodated through the decision of a Children’s Hearing).

Section 80 of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007

Refers to those small numbers of looked after children who are subject to Permanence Orders as they are unable to be returned to their parents care and have required the local authority to undertake some parental rights and responsibilities.

Planning and Reviewing Arrangements for Looked After Children

All looked after children are obliged to have their Care Plans reviewed on a regular basis. This is defined under Section 31 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

It is current practice to involve and invite all professionals involved with a child and their family, in order to progress the best possible planning for each child or young person and their circumstances.

Each child or young person has an allocated Social Worker to coordinate and report on the progress of their Looked After Care Plan, with the guiding principal being that the plan should help to ensure that they are only looked after for as long as necessary and beneficial for them.

Statistics

For statistical information, you can view or download the document below:

  • Looked after children statistics 2009/10
  • Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)
    • Children's Handbook Scotland
      • Comprehensive guide to benefits and tax credits where children are living away from their parents. This includes children who are in kinship or foster care, or looked after by the local authority, or at residential school, in residential care or hospital. It includes practical examples and easy to use checklists, and is fully referenced to legislation and case law.

More information

Contact information

Child Care Services
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 225000 / 450000
Email: