The Scottish Government wants to make Scotland the best place for children and young people to grow up, from giving them the best start in life to ensuring they have the opportunities to thrive and develop into healthy, confident individuals, ready to succeed. The Children and Young People Bill is a key part in achieving that ambition.
The Bill will:
- Increase the amount of flexible early learning and childcare to a minimum of 600 hours annually for three and four year olds and looked-after two-year olds – the best package in the UK
- Take forward the Getting it Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) approach to provide children and young people with access to a 'Named Person' from birth to 18 years old who would act as the key, central point of contact; and to a single 'Child’s Plan' for those who need one to ensure services are coordinated where necessary to help and support a child or young person
- Ensure children’s rights are considered across the whole of the public sector - in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
- Extend the powers of Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young so they can launch investigations on behalf of individual children or young people
- Introduce a new kinship care order as an additional option to help provide children with a long-term, stable, care environment
- Make the use of Scotland’s National Adoption Register compulsory
- A consultation is currently open on a draft Bill. This will run until September 25, 2012. See: A Scotland for Children: a consultation on the children and young people bill.