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To ask the Scottish Government how it will fulfil its commitment to keep together siblings who are looked-after; what legislation it plans to (a) amend or (b) introduce as part of this process, and by what date this will be in place.


Answered by Maree Todd (27/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is committed to making our care system the best that it can be. We are considering how best to use law and practice to make sure that more children are kept together, either physically, or through the proactive encouragement of contact.

There are already provisions in the Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 which require local authorities to assess sibling relationships and to ensure that brothers and sisters are placed together, or near to each other, where practicable; and we aim to strengthen these legal provisions.

The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government announced that we intend to introduce both a Family Law Bill later this year. We plan to include in the Family Law Bill a duty on local authorities to keep children together where it is in their best interests to do so, and a duty on local authorities to promote a child’s contact and personal relations with their brothers and sisters where this is practical and appropriate and in the welfare of the child.


Current Status: Answered by Maree Todd on 27/03/2019
 
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