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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-11416: Kezia Dugdale (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 20 September 2017

To ask the Scottish Government when it will implement statutory advocacy for care-experienced young people as provided for in the Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 and the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Answered by: Mark McDonald 3 October 2017

The Scottish Government has been working with a number of advocacy providers and partners in the children’s hearings system to develop a sustainable model of advocacy provision for children and young people attending hearings.

The Scottish Government is committed to improving the participation of children and young people in all areas of their lives, but in particular when they are at their most vulnerable. This can be the case for children attending hearings and a range of measures are being taken forward by individual agencies and the Children’s Hearings Improvement Partnership to better elicit, and respond to, children’s views.

With regard to advocacy, we have been testing potential approaches in a number of areas, with a view to creating a sustainable advocacy system that can be rolled out nationally by enacting section 122 and introducing associated regulations.

It is important that any national advocacy provision complements existing work supporting better participation, and that children are well served by it. We have indicated our intention to Parliament to make major progress in the next two years.