local government policy

Report that reflects the picture available at the time the main audit work was conducted between August and October 2008. The Commission is concerned to note the position at South Ayrshire as set out in the Controller of Audit’s report.

The council has made limited progress towards delivering best value and faces severe financial pressures which pose significant risks and which will make it more challenging for the council to make the improvements needed.

When the Accounts Commission published its findings on the Best Value audit on Aberdeen City Council in May 2008 following a public hearing, it requested a further report from the Controller of Audit in 12 months’ time. In this progress report, the Commission is encouraged by the prompt and decisive action taken by the council, and taking into account the timescale, commends the council on its progress across a range of activity.

These government guidelines have been prepared to help local authorities carry out their statutory responsibilities and manage their relationships with home educating parents. Where parents have chosen to home educate, it is important that home educated child to have a positive experience. These guidelines aim to clarify the balance between the right of the parent to educate their child at home and the responsibilities of the local authority. ‘Parents’ should be taken to include all those with parental responsibility, including guardians and carers.

This report explores the changing lives of older people and shows how resources are used to manage change and maintain stability. An ageing population continues to be of policy concern, in relation to meeting the needs of older people now, and for future welfare provision. This research explores how older people plan, use and value the different resources available to them. Resources are broadly defined, to explore the relative value of different structural, social and individual resources and how they interlink.

Government and Local Authorities are increasingly recognising that young carers and their families are a vulnerable group, for whom delivering the outcomes of Every Child Matters requires a planned and coordinated approach.

This report offers ideas and proposals for how to deliver more new housing, especially affordable housing.

This is an evaluation report of the Boarding Provision for Vulnerable Children Pathfinder announced in the white paper 'Higher standards, better schools for all' (2005). The Pathfinder was intended to explore whether boarding school provision might be used to provide support, stability and improved life chances for a larger number of vulnerable children and young people. Ten local authorities and fifty boarding schools originally signed up to the Pathfinder.

Scottish Government interim guidance to local authorities on assessing the capacity of a child's relatives as potential kinship carers for a looked after child and the support they will require.

The assessment process should help kinship carers to feel more involved and consulted and able to identify the kinds of supports they believe they need to look after the child safely and in a way that promotes the child's best interests.

There is a growing realisation that service uses and carers should be involved in developing the services they receive. Their expertise as users of services and what they want from services should be heard. It is particularly important that service users are involved in the national organisations that regulate services, the workforce, education and training n social care.

This report from the Social Justice Policy Group, chaired by Iain Duncan Smith, identifies five 'pathways' to poverty and makes proposals for tackling them. These pathways are: educational failure, family breakdown, economic dependence, indebtedness and addictions. A sixth section considers how the third sector might be better supported to help people escape poverty.