This Act is the most significant piece of children's legislation in Scotland in recent years. On this page you'll find a range of information and resources to help support individuals and organisations in understanding and implementing the changes required in the Act.
On 27 March 2014, the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (the Act) became law. And with 18 constituent Parts, the Act introduces significant changes that will impact on every aspect of children's services and on all stages of a child's life, from birth well into adulthood. Every publicly funded organisation whose work relates to children and young people is affected, and for those working with looked after children and care leavers, reforms are broad and substantial.
Some changes have already come into force, with the remainder being introduced over the next two to three years.
Scottish Government's vision is to make Scotland the best place to grow up, and the Act is an integral step toward achieving this vision. The changes in the Act will help facilitate a shift in public services towards the early years of a child's life, and towards early intervention whenever a family or young person needs help.
The Act draws attention to the whole child, and their entire journey through care and beyond by focusing on children at risk of becoming looked after through to the introduction of Continuing Care and the extension of those eligible for Aftercare. This is critical for us because we know that efforts to ensure equality of opportunity for Scotland's looked after children and care leavers can be seriously undermined if they experience early and ongoing disadvantage in terms of their physical, psychological, emotional and social wellbeing.
From the perspective of looked after children and care leavers in Scotland, the Act introduces a number of important changes, including:
The Act makes looked after children a priority for a host of publicly funded bodies by naming them as Corporate Parents. We know that tackling issues important to looked after children and young people, such as poverty, early school leaving, poor health and exclusion needs a combined effort. We also know addressing these issues decisively requires joined-up thinking and clever resourcing.
We offer support to public bodies to help them meet the new duties and responsibilities in the Act.
Get in touch with our policy team; they'd be delighted to hear from you.