Looked After Children (Residential Care)
Aberdeen City Council has developed guidance and recording materials for education department staff based on Scottish Executive materials "Looking after Children in Scotland: Good Parenting, Good Outcomes". This ensures that Aberdeen City Council fulfils its legal responsibility to this group of children, many of whom are vulnerable and at risk of under achieving.
The guidelines set out the arrangements that should be made to support the education of looked after children. Head Teachers are required to develop individual school policies on the educational arrangements for looked after children in line with the issued guidelines. The procedures apply to all looked after and accommodated children (i.e. in foster care or residential care). They also apply to children who receive respite care for more than 120 days per year and to children who are "freed for adoption".
The status of looked after children was created by the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. A key principle of the act is that the best interests of the child are paramount.
The local authority has a duty to produce care plans for looked after children. The care plan makes specific reference to an education plan being established for each looked after child in conjunction with the school. School staff are responsible for completing the education records and are jointly responsible with the Social Worker for ensuring an education plan is completed.
Further information on local authorities duties in relation to looked after children is contained within the Scottish Child Law Centre 'Guide to the Children (Scotland) Act 1995' and the Education Authority's 'Guidelines on the Children (Scotland) Act' both of which are also available in schools.
The Social Work and Community Development Department has a Children's Rights Officer (Tel 08456 080910). The remit of the Children's Rights Officer is to represent and advocate for looked after children in foster care, residential children's homes and residential schools. The officer meets with individual looked after children on a regular basis and is also involved in investigating complaints from looked after children.
'Who Cares Scotland' is a voluntary organisation that represents looked after children based in Glasgow.
Enquiries should be directed to:
- Education Officer - Children and Families
St. Nicholas House
Aberdeen, AB10 1AY
Tel: 01224 523364
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