The Kilbrandon report and disabled children : some reflections 50 years on

Stalker, Kirsten (2014) The Kilbrandon report and disabled children : some reflections 50 years on. Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 13 (3). ISSN 1478-1840

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Fifty years after the publication of the Kilbrandon Report 1964, which paved the way for the creation of the Children's Hearings System in Scotland, this reflective paper revisits what the report had to say about disabled children and young people. It also reflects on subsequent progress in how society perceives and values disabled children. Kilbrandon was well ahead of his time in applying the same principles to all children since, at that time, disabled children were generally seen and treated as different. They are no longer condemned to grow up in long-stay hospitals, receiving five minutes of 'mothering' in any ten hour period (Oswin, 1978). Since 1964, considerable progress has been made in conceptual understandings of disability, in research seeking disabled children's own views and experiences, and in according them the same legislative rights as other young people. Many positive developments have taken place at policy level but significant challenges remain in translating these into practice, for example, in relation to poverty reduction, achieving full inclusion and ensuring a smooth transition to adulthood.

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