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Overseen but often overlooked: Children and Young People ‘Looked After at Home’ in Scotland

Report 1: Reviewing the literature

This document is the first report from a study commissioned by Barnardo’s Scotland. The study explores experiences, needs and outcomes for children and young people in Scotland who are (or have been) looked after at home (ie subject to a home supervision requirement or order). The research aims to do several things: determine in what ways outcomes for this group differ from their peers, address factors which are unique to this group and which may contribute to any differences in outcomes, and investigate emerging models of practice to support young people who are, or have been, looked after at home.

The study seeks to capture and summarise what is currently known, identify what the needs of this group are likely to be and recommend future actions related to services, policies and research.

This first report details the findings of a comprehensive review of literature sources to identify, analyse and synthesise existing knowledge. The review was systematic inasmuch as the methods are made explicit. However, literature directly focused on home supervision is rare so we have used a two-tiered approach to identify wider material which is likely to throw light on the situation of this group of children and young people.

The review process was influenced by a five-stage approach originally developed for scoping studies (Arksey & O'Malley, 2005). Identification of sources was based on a number of searches and personal requests for recommendations by those with knowledge of the field. The review was not restricted to peerreviewed sources and other good quality sources were considered where they were sufficiently pertinent.

Documents were screened according to a number of inclusion and exclusion criteria and if selected they were included in the appropriate section of the review: Section A, concerning research which specifically identifies needs, outcomes or characteristics of children and young people looked after at home, or Section B, concerning other research likely to be relevant to the needs, outcomes or characteristics of children and young people on home supervision.