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Safeguarding children's interests: the Scottish experience

Hill, M. and Lockyer, A. and Morton, P. and Batchelor, S. and Scott, J. (2003) Safeguarding children's interests: the Scottish experience. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 25 (1). pp. 1-21. ISSN 0964-9069

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Abstract

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.