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We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk

Why is this National Outcome important?

Evidence shows that disadvantages experienced from birth can impact adversely on the life chances of our children. By the time they reach their third birthday, children from deprived backgrounds can be as much as a year behind their peers in cognitive and social development. The impact of this disadvantage can be seen throughout an individual's life, in poor health, employment and social outcomes.

This Government's Purpose is to make Scotland a more successful nation from which all of Scotland's people can benefit. To achieve this and enhance our ability to compete, we need to tackle some of the significant inequalities which persist in Scotland. Tackling risks early and building the resilience of children, young people and families will improve the educational, health and employment outcomes of our people.

What will influence this National Outcome?

Success will be defined by improvements in children's lives through services which:

  • Support children, young people and families

  • Help families overcome the disadvantages they face

  • Enable children and young people to achieve the same outcomes as their more advantaged peers

To get it right for children and young people at risk means being safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included. For services this means a unified approach across sectors and locality, making appropriate, proportionate, timely interventions, transfer of resources from back to front end and making best use of resources through evidence-based planning and practice.

Our Early Years Framework is about shifting our attention towards the first few years of life to reduce inequalities arising later in life. By identifying and dealing with risks to children, young people and families swiftly, we can prevent risks from becoming long-term problems. We want all children in every community get the best start in life, equal opportunities to thrive and learn, and every chance to succeed.  To do this we are improving health and wellbeing, individual and community resilience, access to decent housing and other services. Our response to offending behaviour and supporting the most vulnerable will help to create the conditions in which we can achieve a Smarter Scotland.

What is the Government's role?

We want Scotland to be the best place for children to grow up. We recognise that supporting parents is key to improving outcomes for children and young people.

When children need to be cared for away from their birth family, we support consistent, secure, high-quality and nurturing care, whether that is provided by the wider family, foster carers or in residential care.

We are ensuring that we have the right legislation and frameworks for improving children's rights and services and reforming the children's hearing system. In addition, children will benefit from investment in effective universal services and the shift of service delivery to early intervention and greater support for the early years.

We are investing in stronger communities, reducing crime, improving housing, regenerating disadvantaged neighbourhoods and addressing health inequalities. We are also providing more choices and chances for young people so that their personal circumstances do not prevent them from engaging in learning or work.

Positive outcomes require skilled, committed professionals. We are developing the workforce and leadership of public and voluntary sector bodies. It also requires clear and effective scrutiny and improvement regime across children's services, so we are increasing coherence and alignment between scrutiny, self-evaluation and performance management.

Related Strategic Objectives

Smarter

Healthier

Wealthier and Fairer

Related National Indicators

l Increase the proportion of pre-school centres receiving positive inspection reports

l Increase the proportion of schools receiving positive inspection reports

down Improve levels of educational attainment

 Increase the proportion of young people in learning, training or work

l Increase the proportion of graduates in positive destinations

up Improve Children's Services

up Improve children's dental health

l Increase the proportion of babies with a healthy birth weight

down Increase the proportion of healthy weight children

 Increase physical activity

 Improve support for people with care needs

l Reduce the number of individuals with problem drug use

d Improve people's perceptions about the crime rate in their area

up Reduce crime victimisation rates

 Reduce the proportion of individuals living in poverty

 Reduce children's deprivation

up Improve access to suitable housing options for those in housing need

 Improve people's perceptions of their neighbourhood