Aberdeenshire praised for fostering services

Aberdeenshire Council’s fostering services have been
highly commended in one of only a few independent audits of
services carried out in Scotland.

The council carried out the audit as part of the UK National
Standards for Foster Care launched in Scotland in 1999. At that
time, the then Scottish Office strongly urged authorities to carry
out assessments against the 25 national standards and 270
components. Councils were then given two years to meet all of the

According to Chris Booth, head of social work (children and
families) for Aberdeenshire Council, most Scottish authorities
ignored this requirement. Booth said: “Aberdeenshire is one of only
a few authorities to have carried out this audit.”

Barbara Hudson, director of the British Agencies for Adoption
and Fostering in Scotland, explained that a number of councils were
examining fostering services in different ways, often internally
and as part of best value exercises.

Hudson added: “We believe there is value in having an outside
agency looking at fostering services as well as stake holders such
as young people. This would help improve the quality of services
and better prepare councils for the future inspection of fostering
under the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act.”

Bryan Ritchie, director of Fostering Network, confirmed that
only Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire had commissioned independent
audits. Ritchie said: “Most authorities have decided to wait to see
what the new standards are under the Scottish Commission for the
Regulation of Care.”

The independent audit found that Aberdeenshire met all of the
defined 25 national standards for foster care.





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