HC Deb 16 November 1998 vol 319 c374W
Mr. Gorrie

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to ensure better supervision and regulation of the arrangements made by commercial organisations which house young foreign students, who are on English language courses or exchanges, in private households in Scotland. [58810]

Mr. Galbraith

The Foster Children (Scotland) Act 1984 already regulates care provided for children under the age of 16 where the person providing or intending to provide the care is not a relative and where he or she proposes to care for a child for 28 days or longer.

As part of our response to the Kent Report on Children's Safeguards Review we have already announced our intention to consult on the introduction of a statutory Consultancy Index in Scotland which will hold information about people unsuitable to work with children and young people.

A Home Office let inter-departmental working group is presently looking at further safeguards to prevent unsuitable persons from working with children in paid or unpaid positions in the public, private and voluntary sectors. We shall consider what more needs to be done in this area in the light of the working group's report.

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