Staying Together and Connected: Getting it Right for Sisters and Brothers National Practice Guidance

Year: 2021
Topic: Voices of young people, Siblings
Author: Scottish Government

This National Practice Guidance for Scotland is designed to contribute to the effective implementation of new legislative changes introduced under the Children (Scotland) Act 2020 to uphold the rights and meet the needs of children with care experience and their families.

The relevant regulations and legal changes further protect the rights and promote the wellbeing of children and young people where their relationships with siblings could otherwise become disrupted. There is now a legal duty on local authorities to take steps to promote contact between ‘looked after’ infants, children and young people and their brothers and sisters; a duty to establish the views of the child’s brothers and sisters before making any decisions about their care; and an need to ensure that where it is safe for them to do so, brothers and/or sisters are able to live together or as near to each other as possible.

The guidance was developed in collaboration with people representing all those who will be affected by these developments, and this involved listening to the voices and view of infants, children and young people with experience of care, their parents and families, adoptive parents, kinship and foster carers, and the multi-agency practitioners responsible for the care, protection and wellbeing of our children and young people. It was informed and drafted by a national process led and facilitated by CELCIS, the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection.