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Safeguarding children's interests in welfare proceedings: the Scottish experience

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Against a backdrop of new arrangements for representing children's interests in England, this paper examines the role of 'safeguarders' in Scottish children's hearings. Safeguarders may be appointed by children's hearings and sheriffs when it is in the child's interests to do so. Recent research conducted by the authors revealed that the performance of most safeguarders is very well regarded. However, the arrangements for recruitment, training, monitoring and support are highly variable and often limited. The independence of safeguarders is widely supported. Certain aspects of the organization of the service and of the processes for allocating individual safeguarders to particular cases raise questions about consistency and independence.

Keywords: children's hearings; children's rights; representation; safeguarder

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre for the Child and Society, University of Glasgow Glasgow 2: Department of Politics, University of Glasgow 3: Postgraduate Research Student, Glasgow Coledonian University 4: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Glasgow 5: University of Loughborough and Glasgow, Centre for the Child and Society

Publication date: 2003-02-01

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