The study reported here by Linda Davidson and Karen McKenzie examined the care planning process for very young children in Scotland using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Data were gathered from existing case files on 18 looked after children aged 0–2 years. A qualitative approach was used to explore the views of six randomly selected social workers about current practice in relation to care planning. The social workers identified a number of factors which both facilitated and hindered the care planning process and in a number of cases the same factor was identified as doing both. The most commonly identified factor was waiting for an expert assessment. This could cause serious delays but once completed, was often the catalyst for change. The participants identified a further number of factors which they felt could improve the process, including additional training. Their responses are discussed in the context of recent legislative changes in Scotland.
This article reports on one of the initiatives developed by the first Sure Start midwife in Scotland: a young parents group which provides antenatal and postnatal support to vulnerable young parents. The structure and content of the group is outlined and is related to the existing evidence base. The feedback received from the participants suggests that they find the group beneficial and that, in particular it provides valuable validation of them in the parental role. No formal evaluation of the group has taken place to date and it is important this is carried out.
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