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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-12639: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 November 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to figures from the Care Inspectorate, which suggest that 25% of young people in care placements have been separated from their siblings, and what action it is taking to minimise this.

Answered by: Maree Todd 23 November 2017

The Scottish Government welcomes this report, which builds on our existing fostering and adoption evidence base in Scotland. In relation to your enquiry, the Care Inspectorate report states that in 2016 20% of sibling groups placed in either local authority or independent foster placements were separated. Although this is a slight overall improvement from 2015 (24%) we remain absolutely clear that secure attachments, such as children have with their siblings, are central to healthy development and wellbeing.

At this time we are considering the findings in the Care Inspectorate report. However, I acknowledge that the report highlights a need to make sure the best interests of the child are at the heart of all decisions and the complexities faced by professionals involved in each case to work together to find the best immediate and long-term outcome for each child. Separation of sibling groups occurs as a result of a number of considerations; all undoubtedly difficult, and we would always encourage Local Authorities to place siblings together when it is in the best interests of all siblings concerned.

The independent Care Review - being led by children with experience of care - is looking at Scotland’s underpinning legislation, practice and culture to identify where policies need to be improved.