The Education and Culture Committee has agreed to carry out an inquiry with the following remit:
- the decision-making processes involved in determining whether a child should be removed from the family home and taken into care;
- whether these decision-making processes are delivering the best outcomes for children and their families.
The Committee's report on the inquiry will be debated in the Chamber on the afternoon of Thursday 5 December.
The Committee issued a call for evidence on Tuesday 26 June 2012. The closing date for submissions was Tuesday 28 August 2012.
The Committee considered these responses at its meeting on 25 September and agreed to write to various bodies, including the Scottish Government, to ask for a response to certain issues raised in the written evidence. These further responses were published on 14 December 2012.
As part of the inquiry, committee members undertook a number of fact-finding visits. Notes of these visits are below:
Following the visits, the Committee took oral evidence on 15 January 2013 from the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration (SCRA), Children's Hearings Scotland, the Children's Panel Chairmen's Group and the Children's Hearings Training Unit to follow up concerns raised during the visits and in written evidence. The Official Report of that meeting is available here (571KB pdf).
At its meeting on 29 January 2013 the Committee took oral evidence from the Children's Hearings team from the Scottish Government to discuss these issues. The Official Report of that meeting is available here (373KB pdf).
Prior to deciding its approach to the remainder of the inquiry, on 5 March 2013 the Committee took evidence from the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS), the SCRA and Action for Children. The Official Report of that meeting is available here (445KB pdf).
The Committee agreed its approach to the remainder of the inquiry on 5 March 2013.
Inquiry into decision making on whether to take children into care - Approach paper (163KB pdf)
The Committee has since taken evidence from:
Following the respective oral evidence sessions, the following supplementary evidence was provided by these organisations:
The Committee held an event on 17 June 2013 in the Scottish Parliament in order to gather input from a wide variety of individuals and groups with an interest in the inquiry. The event informed the Committee's subsequent questioning of the Minister for Children and Young People and the drafting of its final report.
The main output of the event can be accessed here.
The Committee published its interim report on 28 March 2013.
On 22 May 2013, the Committee received the following letter from the Scottish Government in response to the interim report:
The Committee published its final report on 23 September 2013:
The Scottish Government response to the Committee's final report was received on 28 November 2013: