Aftercare support in Scotland lacking

Support for young people leaving full-time care in Scotland is
piecemeal and haphazard, according to a report published this week.

The Throughcare and Aftercare Working Group exposes the frailties
of present arrangements but also proposes a radical shake-up of

The group, set up in November 1999, advises the Scottish executive
on how to improve services to young people who are looked after.

Its research reveals that throughcare – preparation for leaving
careÊ- and aftercare services vary enormously across Scotland,
where some 11,000 children and young people are looked after by
local authorities.

The group wants local authorities to collect more accurate
information on the exact numbers of youngsters leaving care, where
they are living, and what qualifications and training they have, if
any. Each young person should be allotted a key worker and have
their own through- and aftercare plan.

Welcoming the report, Association of Directors of Social Work
president Jim Dickie said: “Legislation to remove entitlement to
benefits for 16- and 17-year-olds leaving care, and to transfer
these funds to local authorities, can potentially create an
integrated fund.”

The Scottish Council For Single Homeless also gave the report its
support. Head of the organisation’s youth unit and working group
member John Dickie said: “SCSH hopes this report will act as a
catalyst for reducing the scandalous homelessness levels among
young people leaving care in Scotland. “

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