Supporting the Peer Relationships of Scotland’s Looked After Children

Peer relationships are an important source of support and stability for looked after children. This event will explore how practitioners working with looked after children can provide opportunities for young people to build these important relationships and protect and support those that already exist.

Early bird rate available until Friday 6 July 2018
Quote PREB20 when booking to receive a 20% discount

Building friendships, preventing social isolation

“Relationships which are significant to infants, children and young people will be protected and supported to continue unless it is not safe to do so.”
The Care Review Intentions (June 2018)

Often when we talk about the importance of relationships to looked after children through the lens of attachment and trauma theory, we focus on the attachments they form with parents, practitioners and trusted adults. Peer relationships between siblings and friends are equally important to supporting a child or young person’s resilience and wellbeing, but are vulnerable to being lost as they move through the care system, leaving them in social isolation.

Research by the Scottish Children Reporter Administration found that children who were accommodated and subsequently placed permanently away from their birth parents experienced a high degree of estrangement from siblings. There is little data on how many children and young people lose touch with friends during their journey through care, but we know that entering care can mean the loss or disruption of friendships as children will move home and at times area. Being in care can have a stigmatising effect, making new friendships hard to develop. In addition to managing changes in existing relationships, children may need to negotiate new ones, with new siblings born to birth parents, other looked after children, or children of foster parents.