Try a six month print or digital Life and Work subscription


Sign up to our monthly newsletter

Please confirm that you are happy to hear from The Church of Scotland:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit the Privacy Policy on our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Home  >  News  >  CrossReach Condemns Attitudes to Children in Care


Image: crossreach-new-logo_cropped_632.748538012_200_cropped.png

CrossReach Condemns Attitudes to Children in Care

Wednesday January 29 2020

Head of children's services says attitudes of some individuals and local authorities are discriminating against children and young people

The head of CrossReach children’s services has criticised the attitudes of some communities and local authorities to children in care, which he says ‘at worst amounts to discrimination’.

Since 2014 the Church of Scotland’s Social Care provider has been moving cared-for children out of institutional settings into small houses within communities.

In a lengthy blog on the CrossReach website, Paul Gilroy, head of service, children and families, says that most of their experiences of establishing these homes have been positive.

However, he adds that some people still stigmatise children in care as potential criminals and a threat to peaceful community life, going as far as ‘driving hate campaigns which influence the attitudes of others in the community’.

Mr Gilroy adds: “They seem to forget that the children and young people we look after will have had little choice in coming into care. They will have suffered trauma and loss (sometimes several times) within their young lives. When they come to live with us, it’s clear they just want to live like other families. They want a place to call home, somewhere that they can be around people who care about them and where they feel loved and accepted…

“Sadly the hurtful, insensitive and wounding words used recently by people objecting to care-experienced children and young people moving into their communities, at best demonstrates a lack of awareness of the situations children and young people have experienced, and at worst amounts to discrimination.”

Mr Gilroy also attacks the ‘poor understanding and resulting discrimination displayed in some local authority planning departments’, which he describes as ‘simply astounding to us’.

He says: “One example of this is being asked for information about the background or ‘type’ of children who might move into a house, and the circumstances of them coming into care. Clearly this flies in the face of a child’s right to privacy and a private life… One official even went so far as to suggest that the proposal might affect house prices in the area.”

He said that such behaviour contravenes measures put in place by the Scottish Government to try to improve the lives of vulnerable children and young people.

“We might well be able to work together to change the hearts and minds of individuals, but we need to start to exercise additional political pressure to demand change in the planning systems which currently… allow for a child to be denied a home simply because they live in care.”

Read the full blog at



There are currently no comments on this post

Add a reply

All fields are required. Email address will not be published.