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Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007

Permanence orders

171.Subsection (1) includes an individual who looks after children in pursuance of permanence orders, created by the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007, within the definition of foster carer. These orders can only be applied for by a council and are granted by a court. The order consists of:

  • the mandatory provision, whereby the right to regulate the child’s residence and the responsibility to provide guidance to the child are vested in the council;

  • the ancillary provisions, whereby other parental responsibilities and rights (PRRs) in respect of the child (as set out in sections 1 and 2 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995) may be vested in the council or any other person or persons as the court considers appropriate. Ancillary provisions may also take these PRRs away from the birth parents; and

  • if appropriate, provision granting authority for the child to be adopted.

172.Since the child remains a looked after child and the responsibility for his or her care rests ultimately with the council, any carer of a child on a permanence order is regarded as doing regulated work so that disclosure records can be obtained and the carer is subject to continuous vetting. This will apply whether or not the carer is a relative or friend. The council is treated as an employer of the foster carer in this context.

173.The offences in sections 34 to 37 of the Act do not apply to carers of children on a permanence order, so that an administrative decision by the Central Barring Unit (on behalf of Scottish Ministers) cannot override a court decision made in the best interests of the child, by listing an individual who also happens to be the foster carer of a child on a permanence order. This is to avoid the individual and the council committing a serious offence by following the order of the court and allowing the child to remain with the individual beyond the date of the listing decision.

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