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Debates and questions

S5W-29069: Keith Brown (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 14 May 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what support and guidance it is providing to ensure contact between children in care and their parents and siblings continues throughout the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure relationships are sustained and nurtured.

Answered by: Maree Todd 1 June 2020

Relationships between looked after children and their siblings, parents and wider families are essential and should continue to be promoted, wherever it is safe to do so in line with existing social work risk assessments.

Where face to face contact cannot be maintained, alternative options have been introduced, including telephone calls, video contact, or, if appropriate, the use of social media platforms to ensure that children and young people can maintain contact with the people who matter to them most.

As part of our £30m commitment to support digital inclusion for children and young people we are working closely with local authority partners across Scotland to ensure that vulnerable children have access to the devices, connectivity and support they need to maintain contact with learning, their peers and their wider support networks.

The Scottish Government is also working with the Family Rights Group to produce a digital advice leaflet for parents and relatives who have children in care. The leaflet will include advice for maintaining contact with their children, and direct readers to the latest national advice and support available. Wider advice is also available for parents and carers from Parent Club Scotland, Parentzone as well as through organisations such as the Fostering Network and CELCIS.