The Scottish Government are very conscious that children who have a parent in prison may have additional support needs in terms of section 22 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.
Some steps we have taken so that these needs can be highlighted are:
1. The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009 strengthened the 2004 Act which placed a duty on education authorities to identify, meet and keep under review the additional support needs of all pupils for whom they are responsible, and to tailor provision to their individual needs.
2. New guidance for social workers was published on 24 December 2010, which specifically advises report writers to consider the impact on children and other family members of certain community disposals and especially custody.
3. The Minister for Children and Early Years hosted a meeting with representatives from Families Outside, Action for Children, Barnardos, SCCYP (Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People) and Children in Scotland to discuss suggested ways forward on 25 January 2011 and officials are currently developing mechanisms to help identify children with specific support needs.