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Policy actions 3 of 6

Children looked after at home

A child becomes looked after at home when the Children's Hearings system imposes a supervision requirement with no condition of residence. There are two main instances in which this happens:

  • as a starting point for planned intervention, where the balance of risk indicates that it is not essential to remove the child from the care of their parents, but that the situation must be monitored
  • where children are returning home after being looked after away from home, where some risks still remain and home supervision aims to help reunite the family

A child looked after at home continues to live at their normal residence (usually the family home), but receives regular visits from social workers to ensure that the objectives of the home supervision order are being met.

Role of the local authority

When a child becomes looked after at home their parents must work with the 'corporate parent' – generally the local authority – to ensure that the child is living in a safe and nurturing environment.

The corporate parent's duties, including care planning and reviewing, are the same for children looked after at home as for those looked after away from home. Home supervision aims not only to ensure the wellbeing of the child, but also to strengthen and support the parents' parenting skills.

Mentoring for eight to 14 year olds looked after at home

We fund Inspiring Scotland to deliver intandem, Scotland's mentoring programme for young people aged between eight and 14 who are looked after at home.

One of intandem's core purposes is to ensure that all young people looked after at home have at least one long-term relationship with a positive adult role model. It achieves this by matching young people with trained volunteers who, as their mentors, build a supportive and secure relationship with them.

Intandem was launched in 2016 in response to the report of the Looked After Children Strategic Implementation Group (LACSIG), which was established by the Centre of Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS).

The report recommended establishing a national mentoring scheme for young people aged eight to 14 who are looked after at home, because they typically experience the poorest outcomes of all looked after children and young people.