Under consideration PE2069: Ensure accuracy of statements informing Child Welfare Reports
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ensure the accuracy of evidence gathered by Child Welfare Reporters by introducing a requirement that statements provided as part of their report are signed as a true account.
Previous action taken
I have written to Michael Matheson MSP and John McNally MP.
I received a reply from Michael Matheson’s team and the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, both of which provided background information in relation to Child Welfare Reports.
Information given in statements for a child welfare report are not checked as accurate but are treated by the court as true in good faith.
These reports are court documents and should be signed as true in the same way as police statements are. Interviews should be recorded and kept until the report is signed as accurate to allow any discrepancies to be checked. Every deterrent should be in place to prevent false information or inaccurate notes.
As someone trying to raise concerns about an abusive relationship and trying to protect their child, allowing statements that are inaccurate and misleading to be submitted to and acted on by the court is giving other parties another platform to continue their behaviour. The only chance to challenge inaccuracies is via your solicitor, and if they won't, these statements are taken as fact and can mislead the court.
Our children deserve a fair hearing.