Date lodged: 20 September 2017
To ask the Scottish Government how many looked-after young people have received legal representation at children’s hearings in the last three years.
Answered by: Mark McDonald 2 October 2017
The Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) has provided the Scottish Government with the following information regarding the numbers of looked after young people who received Assistance by Way of Representation (ABWOR).
For the three year period from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2017 inclusive, publicly funded legal representation in the form of (ABWOR) was provided to 667 looked after young people who were under 18 years of age and subject to Compulsory Supervision Orders.
ABWOR was also provided to another 53 young people at a Statement of Grounds children’s hearing. This is the initial hearing where the reasons for the reference are put to a young person, if they are old enough to understand the proceedings.
ABWOR was also provided to another 61 young people who were classed as ‘relevant persons’ to a child who was the subject of the hearing, for example the young mother of a child. At present, SLAB does not have the facility to specifically record if such a young person falls within the definition of a ‘looked after young person’ but due to the fact that they are a relevant person to an even younger child, this could be possible.
ABWOR was provided to another 3 young people who were classed as ‘non deemed relevant persons’ and who were seeking to become deemed relevant persons to the child in question, such as a young sibling of the child or other young relative/carer. Again, SLAB does not have the facility to record if such a young person falls within the definition of a ‘looked after person’ but we intend to be able to record this information in the future.