Sweet 16?: one year on - is life any sweeter?

On 25 March 2008, the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland laid before the Scottish Parliament a report called Sweet 16? The Age of Leaving Care in Scotland. It was debated on 25 June 2008. The Scottish Government has responded positively to most of the report’s recommendations, which are attached as an appendix to this paper, together with a short summary of the full report. In January 2009, a feedback survey was circulated to local authorities to help identify progress on the issues raised in Sweet 16? and also what more needed to be done. Responses were received from 31 of the 32 local authorities. They had been asked about: action to promote the corporate responsibility of elected members and housing services; social work and education collaboration on the funding of residential school placements, steps taken with staff to promote 18 instead of 16 as the age for leaving care, action to provide better/more appropriate accommodation for care leavers, action to stop care leavers having to be declared 'homeless' to get priority housing allocation, action to help young people come back into care for short periods of support; and information on numbers of care leavers discharged into bed and breakfast and hostels for the homeless in the current financial year.

Kathleen Marshall
Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People