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Top Tips: Supporting looked after children

Recently Enquire met with Children’s Parliament who, in partnership with Fife’s Corporate Parent Board, have been running a creative, rights-based project for looked after children, called ‘Seen + Heard Fife’. They have been exploring what children with care experience need to feel happy, healthy and safe and have kindly shared some of their findings.

Here are some of the messages the young people involved in the project shared with Children’s Parliament:

To feel healthy, happy and safe, children in care need:

  • Enough healthy food at home and at school
  • To feel included – and not be bullied because they are in care
  • To trust the adults who care for them and for adults to trust them
  • Safe playgrounds and enough staff at school to look after them
  • Time and preparation when big changes happen

The things that get in the way of children in care feeling healthy, happy and safe:

  • Feeling different, unequal and left out
  • Being forced to move home and school
  • Not being able to go outside
  • Adults being too protective and not letting them take some risks
  • Adults keeping secrets and not sharing what is going on
  • Not having a choice or a say

Top tips for adults from children in care:

  • Let us know we can ask questions
  • Teachers and adults should use inclusive language
  • Get to know us and our favourite things – caring is more than a job

Children’s Parliament is Scotland’s centre of excellence for children’s participation and engagement. Using a rights-based, creative practice, they provide younger children from diverse backgrounds across Scotland with opportunities to share their experiences, thoughts and feelings so that they can influence positive change in their lives at home, in school and in the community. For more information about Seen + Heard in Fife you can visit the Children’s Parliament website here.


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Extra support at school: The rights of looked after children

This briefing explains the rights of looked after children under the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (as amended). Relevant to all those with a role to play in supporting looked after children, including residential child-care staff, social workers, advocacy workers, foster carers, kinship carers, children’s panel members, education staff and looked after children’s nurses.

Download PDF
Resources/Advice for Young People/

Reach can help you understand children’s rights to be supported and involved in decisions so they can flourish in their education.

Go to the REACH website