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.
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.