|More children are being placed in care
CHILDCARE experts say these parents would be better able to cope if they received more support.
AROUND three in five Scots parents with learning difficulties will have had their children taken into care, compared to just two in five parents in similar circumstances south of the Border.
Children's charities and officials are now demanding more research into the care system in Scotland.
An official from the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability warned Holyrood's Education and Culture committee that the figure in Scotland could be even higher.
And Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People Tam Baillie has also highlighted disparities in the general number of children taken into care across Scotland's 32 local authorities, with some councils removing more children than others with similar socio-economic profiles.
SCLD business and partnerships manager Andy Miller said: "Some estimates are even higher, at six out of 10 children (taken from) parents with learning disabilities.
"Our own view is that is too high. I don't know what the figures are for other vulnerable children who have parents with addiction or mental health problems. It might be equally high. It certainly feels high.
"Parents with learning difficulties find it really difficult to get the right support they need to parent, or even any support at all. We hold the view that with better support for parents, that number would drop significantly."
Mr Baillie told the committee there is a lack of consistency between care professionals and local authorities about the appropriate level of intervention.
He said: "Some of that can be accounted for by levels and concentrations of poverty, but not all of it.
"You will have councils with similar profiles, in terms of their socio-economic circumstances, who have got quite different rates of children being taken into a care or are being looked after.
"That begs the question of what else is going on there?"
"Resources play a large part in decision-making, but this is only part of the problem. Concerns about poor outcomes for children are reflected in various reports produced over the last decade and being aware of these poor outcomes will no doubt influence the decisions of professionals to move or not move children into care.
"Moreover, the availability of suitable placements and numbers of placement moves that some children are subjected to also impacts on decisions to remove children, in some cases when a move is needed.
"Decisions to remove should be led by the child's best interests and not by resources."