How we gathered evidence for the review
The Care Commission, HMIE and SWIA scrutinised the four published inspection report's on the schools to identify common findings and theories relevant to this review. SWIA inspectors talked to the local authority social workers for the young people placed in the four schools. The social workers described how each of the residential schools supported the young people for whom their local authority was responsible. SWIA inspectors visited the 18 local authorities responsible for placing the young people to examine local policy and practice and find out what wider lessons might be learned.
During these visits the inspectors:
- read local authority case files on the young people placed in the four residential schools;
- interviewed social workers, managers, reviewing officers, children's advocacy services and other local interests; and
- interviewed officers responsible for commissioning residential placements outside the local authority and making decisions about placement of young people.
SWIA asked the Criminal Justice Social Work Development Centre (the Centre) to review research on working with children with sexually harmful behaviours. (Copies of the review can be obtained from the Centre, University of Edinburgh, Linda.Hutton@ed.ac.uk ).
SWIA also asked the Centre to collate anonymised information about the young people who were included in this study. Analysis of this information helped us to understand the issues of this group of young people and how best to reduce the risks they present to themselves and others. We collected data on 36 young people using a form designed as a tool for practitioners to collect consistent information on children and young people involved in sexually harmful behaviours. The Centre gathers this information nationally so we were able to look at the characteristics of the group in this study and in their wider survey. They have published an initial analysis based on 189 children and young people in Scotland receiving specialist services to tackle sexually harmful behaviours. (Hutton and Whyte 2006)