Adoption (Supervision Requirement Reports) (Scotland) Regulations: Response to Consultation on Draft Regulations

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Introduction

The Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 (the 2007 Act) received Royal Assent on 15 January 2007. The 2007 Act introduced a range of reforms into the law relating to adoption of, and permanent care for, children who cannot remain with their birth families. Once the new legislation is commenced, the existing legislation - the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978 (the 1978 Act) - will be repealed, except to the extent necessary to maintain the legality of those adoptions that have already been made under it. One consequence of this is that existing Regulations made under the 1978 Act will no longer be valid. For that reason new Regulations require to be put in place to restate, and amend, extend and improve, existing Regulations. In doing this account will be taken of the report from the Adoption Policy Review Group ( APRG) Adoption: Better Choices for Our Children, which has already shaped the 2007 Act itself.

This consultation dealt with the draft Adoption (Supervision Requirement Report) (Scotland) Regulations.

The consultation ran from 13 August 2008 until 8 October 2008. We received thirteen responses to the consultation, eight from Local Authorities, four from organisations in the sector and beyond and one from an individual.

Adoption (Supervision Requirement Report) (Scotland) Regulations

Question 1 - Is there any other specific information which may be included on the face of this regulation so that it is not missed in further consideration?

Respondents indicated other information which should be considered. This included: details of contact arrangement considered to be in the best interests of the child; explicit reasons why there needs to be a change in the supervision requirements and why this would be in the best interests of the child; a record of any differing views on the panel; a record of the views of the parties involved, including and especially the child where they are deemed to have sufficient capacity; and, proposed medical consent for examination or treatment of the child.

One respondent also considered that the local authority's reasons for applying for a permanence order should be expressed.

Concern was shown about the phrase "any pre-existing supervision requirement". This is possibly too inclusive and should be restricted to "any current supervision requirement". On respondent considered that, in light of SWIA reports an index of action taken so far by the children's hearing should be supplied as a "history".

Scottish Government action

We propose to amend the regulations to reflect some of the additional information requested by respondents.

We consider that the details of contact arrangement considered to be in the best interests of the child is already covered by indicating that "terms" includes conditions since s70(5)(b) of the 2001 Act covers contact with the child.

We have added the explicit reasons why there needs to be a change in the supervision requirements to reg 2(1)(a) "the terms of any proposed modification of any current supervision requirement" and reg 2(1)(c) "the terms of the proposed supervision requirement".

We do not think it is appropriate to include a record of any differing views on the panel; a record of the views of the parties involved, including and especially the child where they are deemed to have sufficient capacity; an index of action taken so far by the children's hearing should be supplied as a "history"; and any proposed medical consent for examination or treatment of the child. Some of these amendments are already required in the 2007 Act (such as the views of the child).

We will also amend also considered that "any pre-existing supervision requirement". to "any current supervision requirement" to reflect the respondents comments.

Annex: Draft Regulations

The Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 (Supervision Requirement Reports in Applications for Permanence Orders) Regulations 2009

Made - - - - 2009

Laid before the Scottish the Scottish Parliament 2009

Coming into force - - 28 th September 2009

The Scottish Ministers make the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by section 95(2) of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007( 1) and all other powers enabling them to do so.

Citation and commencement

1. These Regulations may be cited as the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 (Supervision Requirement Reports in Applications for Permanence Orders) Regulations 2009 and come into force on 28th September 2009.

Interpretation

2. In these Regulations-

"the 1995 Act" means the Children (Scotland) Act 1995( 2); and

"relevant local authority" has the same meaning as in section 93(1) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

Supervision requirement report

3.-(1) The information prescribed for the purposes of section 95(2) of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 to be contained in the report prepared by the children's hearing is-

  1. the terms of the proposed supervision requirement and the reasons for making it;
  2. the terms of any current supervision requirement;
  3. the terms of any proposed modification of any current supervision requirement and the reasons for making that modification; and
  4. the report of the proceedings of the children's hearing prepared in accordance with rule 31(1) of the Children's Hearing (Scotland) Rules 1996( 3).

(2) In paragraph (1)(a), (b) and (c) "terms" includes-

  1. any condition contained in the supervision requirement under section 70(3)(b) of the 1995 Act;
  2. any residence requirement contained in the supervision requirement under section 70(3)(a) of the 1995 Act; and
  3. any duties imposed on the relevant local authority and specified in the supervision requirement under section 70(3A) of the 1995 Act.