The number of deaths of young people with care experience notified to the Care Inspectorate between 2012 – 2018 has been revealed as part of efforts to address what is known about the lives of vulnerable young people and how to improve support.
The Care Inspectorate report (published 15 January) expresses concern that the mental health needs of looked after children and young people are not being met. The Inspectorate says more needs to be done to ensure the availability of mental and emotional health services for vulnerable and looked after children and young people, and that the use of Vulnerable Young Person’s procedures should be adopted more widely.
It highlights the adverse childhood experiences that affect the lives of looked after children, including insecure attachment, disruption of family relationships, physical and emotional neglect, abuse and homelessness.
The report contains messages for Scotland’s corporate parents including practitioners, leaders of services for children and young people, scrutiny bodies and policy makers. A significant gap in accessible community-based mental health services of looked after young people is highlighted and also the high risk that young people might be placed in inappropriate care due to lack of an inpatient mental health facility. The report also draws attention to the difficulty in sustaining looked after young people within the local school community.