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Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014


The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 aims to strengthen children’s rights, and improve and expand the services that support children and families, including looked after children. It is the most significant law for children and families in Scotland since the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

The Act has been introduced in stages. Parts 4, 5, 12 and 18 are due to be introduced in August 2016. Parts 1 and 3 are currently out for consultation and due to commence in April 2017.

Children in Scotland provides support, training, and information and resources to help ensure implementation is as smooth as possible.

The Act at-a-glance

Parts 1-2: A focus on strengthening children’s and young people's rights.
Part 3: Requires public services to work together to design, plan and deliver services for children and families.
Part 4: Introduces a single point of contact for every child up to 18 – the Named Person.
Part 5: Introduces a multi-agency ‘Child’s Plan’ for every child who needs one.
Parts 6-8: Increases entitlement to early learning and childcare and introduces a duty to provide flexibility to meet parents’ needs.
Parts 9-11: Improves aftercare and continuing care for looked after children.
Parts 12-13: Strengthens rights and services for children at risk of becoming looked after.
Parts 14-18: Includes other provisions such as the definition of ‘Wellbeing’ and the introduction of free school meals for all P1-P3 pupils.

Representing the children’s sector 

Children in Scotland represents the sector on both the GIRFEC National Implementation Support Group and the Disabled Children and Young People Advisory Group.

Information and resources 

Touchpoints: Guides to help Third Sector organisations prepare for implementation of the Act. Download the guides here.

Improving Wellbeing: Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 – e-learning resource: An online resource for all NHS staff.  Children in Scotland worked with NES to incorporate children's perspectives on the 'shanarri' indicators. Download the resource here.

Parents’ Guide to Additional Support for Learning: Includes information relating to wellbeing, the Child’s Plan and the Named Person service, all introduced under the Act. Download the guide here.

Additional Support for Learning Factsheets: A range of factsheets for parents and practitioners that are up-to-date with current legislation and policy. View a full list of Enquire's Additional Support for Learning factsheets here.

COMING SOON* Assessing wellbeing in the classroom: a toolkit for Teachers 

Children in Scotland policy briefings provide information and analysis on different parts of the Act, and the Bill as it progressed through parliament. View a full list of members' briefings here.

Training and events

All of our child protection courses take into account changes that are being implemented as a result of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Child protection for all: an introduction and refresher. Book here.

Child protection: for managers and designated persons. Book here.

Influencing policy and legislation 

Children in Scotland has responded to the Consultation on Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014: Guidance on Part 1 – Duties of Public Authorities in Relation to the UNCRC, and Statutory Guidance Part 3: Children’s Services Planning 
Read the Consultation Response here.

We should all become champions of child rights (Third Force News, 14 April 2016). Read the full article here.

Letter: Plan for ‘state guardians’ will not erode the right to privacy (the Herald, 9 March 2016). A letter to the Editor, signed by Children in Scotland in support of the Named Person. Read the full letter here

The named person will safeguard children from abuse (Third Force News, 21 January 2016). Read the full article here.

Children in Scotland responded to the Consultation on Complaints Concerning Functions Relating to the Named Person and Child's Plan (October 2015)Read the full response here.

Children in Scotland responded to the Consultation on the draft Statutory Guidance for Parts 4, 5 and 18 (Section 96) and related draft orders of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (May 2015). Read the full response here.