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Working hard to help traumatised children

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
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Working hard to help traumatised children

EXTRA efforts are being made to ensure that vulnerable children locally who have experienced trauma get the best start in life.

A ‘corporate parenting group’, comprising of council chiefs and partner organisations, has been working in the background to give disadvantaged youngsters proper support.

Special measures are also being put in place to help looked after children and care experienced young people to make the grade in school and improve their chances of having a steady career.

The matter was discussed at Dumfries and Galloway Council’s social work committee, with members told of progress in supporting looked after children and young people in pre-school and school settings, but more work is required as the attainment gap to their wider peer group remains wide.

Stephen Morgan, senior manager for children and families section, said: “It’s clear that children who are care experienced by-and-large have experienced a level of trauma in their lives.

“The fact that they become looked after means that you’ve experienced further trauma.

“It can take an awful long time to recover from that so putting formal education supports into school settings isn’t good enough. Our colleagues in education are well aware of that.

“So, we’ve got extra learning support, extra educational psychology support specifically looking at looked after children – there’s a team that do that.”

Social work chiefs will refresh the council’s Corporate Parent Plan later this year. It will help shape the delivery of care for youngsters in the area.

As of March 31, there were 25 youngsters on the child protection register in Dumfries and Galloway, along with 292 looked after children and young people, as well as 342 young people eligible for leaving care.

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