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Date: Thurs 9 October 2008

Comment from UNISON on today's announcement in the Scottish Parliament of a review into Scotland's secure accommodation

UNISON - the union that represents staff working in child protection - said it was concerned that there was a danger that a simplistic look at numbers of vacancies could be used merely to cut provision and save money.

John Stevenson, a spokesperson for the union's Social Work Issues Group said "While it is true that secure accommodation is not full at the moment it is also the case that there are children waiting for appropriate places.

"What we need is to deliver on the recommendations of the Edinburgh Inquiry* so there is sufficient capacity across Scotland to allow a choice of placements to meet the needs of young people. It is not just an issue of providing any place for any child, there needs to be slack in the system to choose the best matched place for that child.

"UNISON will want to make that view heard strongly during this review"


NOTE for Editors *(Edinburgh's Children - The Edinburgh Inquiry into Abuse and Protection of Children in Care; Kathleen Marshall, Cathy Jamieson and Alan Finlayson January 1999) said:- "Recommendation 4: Provision of residential units must be at such a level as to allow a genuine choice of placements to best meet the needs of young people. In implementing this recommendation, the Council must accept that this will require units to operate at times at less than maximum capacity."