Following this training course, as a participant you will have had the opportunity to:
Your work may include the following:
The pack aims to link into the relevant National Occupational Standards.1
The most recent figures show that just under 13,000 children were looked after by local authorities on 31st March 2006, an increase of 6 per cent from 2005. However that year for the first time young people aged 18 or over were included in these statistics. When the 216 young people aged 18 or over are excluded, the increase since 2005 is 5 per cent.2
Fifty-six per cent of looked after children were placed at home with parents or with friends/relatives. There were 29 per cent (3,731) in foster care and 13 per cent (1,638) were looked after in residential accommodation. This ranged from 6 per cent in Clackmannanshire to 31 per cent in Orkney.
While there has been a decline in the numbers of children in residential placements at any one time, the number of residential establishments in Scotland shows a somewhat different pattern. In the mid-1970s, there were 288 establishments, and this fell to 158 by the end of the 1980s. However, this had increased to 207 in 2002. This can be explained by the long-term decrease in the size of residential establishments; falling from an average of 25 places in the 1970s to an average of six places in 2003. The agenda for improvement in all care services has been taken forward by establishing independent, national bodies to register and inspect care services. In Scotland, the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care (the Care Commission) was established on 1 April 2002. The Scottish Government issued 19 volumes of National Care Standards in the spring of 2002 covering a wide range of social care services. The volumes on care homes for children and young people and school care accommodation services are the most relevant and important for residential child care (Scottish Government 2002a, b). The main principles upon which the National Care Standards are based relate to the needs of children and young people for dignity, privacy, choice, safety, realising potential, and equality and diversity.
Alongside the establishment of the Care Commission, the Scottish Social Services Council was established to regulate the workforce. It sets standards of conduct and practice for the workforce and publishes codes of practice for social services workers and their employers. It has established a register of individuals working in social work and social care and is able to discipline individuals and, ultimately, remove individuals from the register. The council also regulates education and training and approves courses. In Scotland, residential child care workers are included in the first phase of the registration process.