Inquiry into decision making on whether to take children into care



The Education and Culture Committee agreed to carry out an inquiry with the following remit:

To understand:

  • 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 Acting Minister for Children and Young People has provided a further written update on Scottish Government activity relevant to the Committee's inquiry.


Written evidence

The Committee issued a call for evidence on Tuesday 26 June 2012. The closing date for submissions was Tuesday 28 August 2012.

Oral Evidence

The Committee took oral evidence on this inquiry at meetings between 15 January 2013 and 25 June 2013.

Read the Official Report of the meetings

The Committee received an update on the inquiry from Who Cares? Scotland on 5 August, and from Scottish Government officials on 12 August.

Read the Official Report of the meetings

The Committee wrote to the Minister for Children and Young People following the evidence session on 12 August.

The Minister for Children and Young People responded to the Convener's letter in January 2015 giving further details of the Scottish Government's activity set out against the recommendations and questions in the above letter from the Convener.

Fact-finding visits

Members of the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee, Stewart Maxwell MSP, Neil Findlay MSO and Neil Bibby MSP are pictured with representatives from Who Cares? Scotland following and evidence session at the Who Cares? offices in Glasgow.

As part of the inquiry, committee members undertook a number of fact-finding visits. Notes of these visits are below:


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.

Read the main output of the event


Interim report

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:

Final report

The Committee published its final report on 23 September 2013:

The Committee will seek updates from the Scottish Government on issues arising from its report. 

The Scottish Government response to the Committee's final report was received on 28 November 2013:


The Committee's report on the inquiry was debated on Thursday 5 December 2013.

Read the Official Report of the Debate