Interaction Between Corporate Parents and Those With Parental Rights and Responsibilities
156. In fulfilling their duties under Part 9 of the Act, corporate parents should consider how they interact with individuals who have parental rights and responsibilities in respect of a child or young person.
157. Although children can become 'looked after' through a variety of legal routes (and for a number of reasons), in the majority of cases birth parents will retain parental rights and responsibilities for their children, in partnership with the state. Corporate parents should recognise the existence of certain legal rights of birth parents and children under Scots law, and, where appropriate, consider how they will interact with birth parents and families.
158. When a child becomes looked after as a result of a voluntary agreement (under section 25 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995) parents retain their parental responsibilities and rights in respect of their child. Parental responsibilities and rights are set out in sections 1 and 2 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.
159. For looked after children who are subject to a Compulsory Supervision Order ( CSO) made by a Children's Hearing, parental rights and responsibilities are also maintained, but are limited in so far as it is necessary to give effect to the CSO. For example, where a condition of residence with foster carers or in a residential unit is attached to a CSO, the local authority assumes the right to determine with whom the child is placed, to the extent of the terms of the CSO. The parents' specific right under section 2(1)(a) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, "to have the child living with him or otherwise to regulate the child's residence" is restricted accordingly.
160. When a Permanence Order is in place, the Order will reallocate certain parental rights and responsibilities to the local authority (always including the right to regulate residence). It is necessary to look at the terms of a Permanence Order to see how the court has allocated parental rights and responsibilities in any particular case. It follows that, for every looked after child, corporate parents need to recognise the responsibilities and rights the parent (or other family carer) retains in respect of their child. There must be recognition of the role of parents and carers, and corporate parents should work together with primary carers to meet the needs and rights of the child.