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Children in Care and Leaving Care

Around 1000 of the children and young people we support in Scotland are care experienced; they are either currently being looked after or are care leavers. We are committed to improving the support that these young people receive, and lobbying for change to the whole care system, to improve outcomes for care experienced young people.

We want to make sure that:

  • Children come into care at the right time
  • Children in care have stable and consistent living arrangements
  • Children in care and young people leaving care have good mental health, are able to form stable attachments and recover from trauma
  • Children in care and young people leaving care are more likely to gain sustainable employment
  • Young people leaving care are able to transition successfully into independence

Our work

Our policy work in this area is currently focussed on the independent Care Review in Scotland. We are working with our services to gather evidence on what we think needs to happen to improve the care system, and we are planning a programme of work that will enable the children and young people we support to contribute their voices to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to influence very meaningful change.

More information


Barnardo’s Scotland briefing for Scottish Government debate on: Improving the Care Experience for Looked after Children (PDF) December 2016


"Overseen but often overlooked: Children and young people 'looked after at home' in Scotland" report (PDF) 2015


Barnardo's Scotland response to Scottish Government consultation on Draft Statutory Guidance on Parts 18, Section 96, 4, and 5 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (PDF) June 2015


Barnardo's Scotland response to Scottish Government consultation on draft statutory guidance Part 9 (Corporate Parenting) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (PDF) March 2015


Responses and briefings prior to 2015 can be found here.

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