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Kent Report

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 19 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the report commissioned from Mr. Roger Kent on safeguards for children living away from home.[17261]

In July last year, Roger Kent was invited to look at the measures in place for the protection of children living away from home and to assess their effectiveness. I have now received Mr. Kent's report. It identifies the risks that exist for this group of vulnerable children, the safeguards which apply at present and makes a number of recommendations—61 in total—on how those safeguards could be improved. The recommendations are wide-ranging, addressing the needs of children living in residential and foster care, children in boarding schools and children otherwise living away from home.I welcome the report as a further step in ensuring that children living away from home can do so in safety and security. Because the report raises a number of important issues spanning a range of interests, I have asked for it to be published. A consultation exercise on the report's recommendations will be undertaken before final decisions are taken on the recommendations.