In the publication of A Nation with Ambition: The Government's Programme for Scotland 2017-18 there was a commitment to 'commission a progress review on the use of family support services to prevent children going into care'. One of the aims in legislating for relevant support services for families where children are 'at risk' of becoming looked after is to provide early and effective support services to prevent children unnecessarily entering the formal care system. Part 12: Services in relation to children at risk of becoming looked after, etc. of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and the Relevant services in relation to children at risk of becoming looked after etc. (Scotland) Order 2016 came into force on 31 August 2016. Relevant services are specified as: Family group decision-making services and support services in relation to parenting.
The Scottish Government commissioned CELCIS to undertake this national review. The objectives were to explore the progress and journeys across thirty-two local authorities in supporting families where children are at risk of becoming looked after.
The report highlights key learning points.