A survey has been launched by Scotland’s Independent Care Review, which aims to get in-depth information on the care system from parents and other family members. 

The Scottish government’s review of its care system which began in 2017 is now into its third stage and looking for feedback from parents and relatives of children who are or have been in care.

The survey asks the following questions:

  1. Were you included in decisions being made about your child?

2. Did you receive reports and invitations voluntarily to meetings at least 7 days in advance?

3. Were you given an opportunity to share your views before and during key meetings?

4. Did you feel treated with respect and dignity by social workers and other professionals involved in the child protection case?

5. Did the child protection investigation lead to financial hardship?

6. Has the child protection investigation affected your ability to work or future career options?

On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being not at all, 10 being completely) how much did you feel you could trust the social worker working with your family?

Any further comments regarding your experiences?

For instance did the child protection investigation affect your feelings of self-worth?
Did the investigation affect your health?
Is there enough support for parents during such investigations?
What could be different?

Removal and Return

  1. Have your children been removed from your care?

2. How long has or was your child in care?

3. Were your children placed with a family member?

4. Have your children been separated from each other?

5. Were you given clear reasons for removal?

6. Please tick any of these official reasons for removal that were given (8 options are listed including abuse, risk of harm, poverty, poor engagement with social workers, medical reasons and violence).

7. Has your child been returned to your care?

8. Was there any support following the removal of your child?

9. Was there any support following the return of your child?

10. Has your child been adopted?

11. If your child was adopted do you have contact and if so what form does this take?

How well are social work services assisting contact between children and their families?

1. Do you have/ did you have contact with your ‘looked after child’?

 2. How frequent is/was this?

 3. Is/was contact meeting the needs of your child?

 4. Are/were contact facilities suitable for you and your child, e.g. premises, catering, travel to and from?

 5. Is/was your contact supervised?

 6. Did your contact change over time? Increase or decrease?

 7. Was contact cancelled regularly by the local authority or regularly disrupted?

8. Do you have ‘indirect contact’, that is not face-to-face? 

9. Does your child have contact with any siblings from whom they are separated?

 Any further comments regarding your experiences of contact? What would you change? What would you keep, or want more of?

Access to support during care proceedings 

1. Have you had legal advice and support?

2. Did you have legal advice and representation pre- removal proceedings (court)?

 3. Did you have legal advice and representation after removal proceedings (court) commenced? 

4. Do you feel you had adequate and effective legal support?

5. Have you had an independent supporter or advocate for you?

 6. Were they helpful?

7. Would you have benefited from such support earlier?

Any further comments regarding your experiences of support during care proceedings, or lack of it?

The next section is an invitation to tell us more if you wish.

Is there anything that we have forgotten or extra that you would like to tell us about your contact with social services?

You can complete the survey here.