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New legal policy unit to help looked after children

A Policy Development Unit has been launched by the Community Law Advice Network ([email protected] childlaw ) charity, which will help to build an evidence base for shaping the representation, advice and support offered to young people who come into contact with the law.


The Unit is supported by the Centre for Excellence for looked after children in Scotland (CELCIS), based at the University of Strathclyde, and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.


Fiona Jones, an Advocate employed by [email protected] childlaw, will be heading the Policy Development Unit. She said:


“We will be able to contribute a legal perspective to the development of best practice for looked after children and to offer legal assistance. We aim to use our legal skills, and our knowledge of legal process, to advance and underpin policy thinking and to help implement existing policy.”


The decision was taken to form the Policy Development Unit after an evaluation of [email protected] childlaw’s services showed that children and young people gaining access to legal help- the majority of them looked after children – were less anxious and more confident when they used the services.


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