Children in care inquiry is planned

A Holyrood committee will investigate whether children in care who are in the family home would be better off if they were looked after elsewhere.

Members of the the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee are to examine the issue.

It follows on from an inquiry MSPs carried out into the educational achievements of children in care.

Committee convener Stewart Maxwell said: “During the inquiry it became clear that there is a sensitive and difficult balance to be struck between supporting families at home and intervening to remove children from harmful situations.

“That is why we have agreed to hold a further, detailed inquiry into this area.”

Scottish Government figures show that while 56% of school leavers gain five qualifications or more, this was only achieved by 4.7% of children in care who are looked after outside the family home.

Meanwhile, just 0.5% of youngsters in care who remain in the family home leave school with a minimum of five qualifications.

Mr Maxwell said the committee had been told this group of children faced “particular disadvantages”.

A report by the committee said there was “no doubt that children looked after at home have poorer levels of attainment than other looked after children”.

MSPs called on the Scottish Government to provide further information on the social work support these children and their families are given.