Staff reluctant to use parenting orders

The British Association of Social Workers Scotland has called
for parenting orders to be scrapped.

The orders were introduced in Scotland last week and are to be
piloted for three years. They are compulsory measures that are
aimed to improve parents’ ability to look after their

Political pressure was growing for the executive to rescind the
legislation, said Ruth Stark, professional officer at BASW

Even if the executive continued with the orders, social workers
were unlikely to use them, Stark said.

“Social workers don’t work with people by forcing them to do
something. The hearing system reaches decisions by consensus that
are in the best interests of the child and that’s why social
workers don’t want to use them.

“An order says to children, ‘your parents aren’t up to it’. The
legislation needs to be rethought,” she added.

Eric Jackson, social work spokesperson at the Convention of
Scottish Local Authorities, said that professionals would be
“reluctant” to apply for orders, and said they should only be
considered as a last resort.

Children’s reporters or local authorities can apply for the orders,
which are issued by sheriff courts to parents that do not accept
support voluntarily.

Parents who fail to comply with orders, which last for a year and
involve counselling, will be fined.

  • Parenting orders guidance from

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.