Update - September 2023

What we have done so far

Following the notification of the thematic review, we issued a survey to social work teams across Scotland. By mid- august we had received responses from all 32 local authority areas. We are now looking at the information from the survey. This is helping us to build a picture about social work’s contribution to how well disabled children and young people’s needs are assessed, planned for, and met.
We have been reading national reports and research to find out what disabled children and young people have already said what is important to them, and about their experiences of support.
Conversations with our key stakeholders, are helping us to develop our ideas about our engagement approaches with children and young people. We are keen that we explore opportunities to ensure that our approach is rights based, accessible and is inclusive.
We will use all the information we have gathered so far to help us identify our focus during the next stage.

Next steps

Four areas have volunteered to help us better understand children and young people’s experiences and the difference social work services are making to their lives. We are pleased to welcome them to this next stage of the review. The areas are:
Aberdeen city
Dundee city
Dumfries and Galloway
Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles)

We will be working with these social work teams from September 2023 to March 2024.
More information can be found on our website here.

If you have any questions for the review team, they can be contacted via email on:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in this review.

Read more

Disabled children and young people: Thematic review 2023-24

On this page you will find information about our national thematic review.  We will keep this page updated as we move through the different stages.

Our approach

In April 2023 we notified all local authorities of our intention to undertake a national thematic review with a focus on disabled children and young people up to the age of 18 years.  Within the scope of our review, we will focus on the experiences of children who are considered disabled under article 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

“Persons with disabilities include those who have long term physical, mental intellectual or sensory impairments which any interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”      

We will provide a national overview of social work’s contribution to how well disabled children and young people’s needs are assessed, planned for, and met.  This will include hearing from children about the things that are important to them, their experiences of participation and of receiving care and support.  To do this we will structure our review under the following two statements:

  • Children and young people are actively heard, informed, and meaningfully involved in decisions about their lives.
  • Children’s and young people’s wellbeing has been promoted through high quality child centred planning and bespoke support.

We will carry out the review between May 2023 and May 2024.  We will publish a national report in Spring 2024.

More information about the thematic review can be found in the following links:

Update September 2023

Thematic review timeline

Working with four local authority areas – a deeper dive

Briefing paper - May 2023

Privacy statement


Read more

Secure care pathway review 2022-23

Our approach

We carried out a secure care pathway review between July 2022 and July 2023 to consider the impact of the Secure Care Pathway and Standards that were published in October 2020.  The review focused on young people up to the age of 18 who have been placed – or are at risk of being placed – by Scottish local authorities, in secure care accommodation.

The review centred on listening to and understanding the experiences of 30 young people across Scotland before, during and after experiencing secure care accommodation.   During the review period we tracked the journeys of these young people and this helped us to consider impact and outcomes over time.  The annual inspections of registered secure care providers continue to be carried out.  We worked jointly with the inspectors of these services to inform the review, particularly in relation to the ‘during’ stage of young people’s journeys through secure care.

Our review is now complete and you can read the report here.

More information

Information about the secure care pathway and standards can be found here.

Read more