The Children and Young People Bill sets out a range of proposals for taking forward our ambitions for children’s rights and services.
The Bill will embed the rights of children and young people across the public sector in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). There should be duties on Scottish Government to take steps to further the rights of children and young people and promote and raise awareness of the UNCRC. The wider public sector should be required to report on what they are doing to take forward realisation of the rights set out in the UNCRC. Lastly, there is a key role for Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People and their powers should be extended to undertake investigations on behalf of individual children and young people.
The Bill will improve the availability of high quality, flexible, integrated early learning and childcare by: increasing the funded annual provision from 475 hours pre-school education for 3 and 4 year olds to a minimum annual provision of 600 hours early learning and childcare for 3 and 4 year olds and looked-after 2 year olds; and making early learning and childcare more flexible and seamless for the child and better suited to the needs of families.
We believe that consistent and full implementation of the Getting it right for every child approach across Scotland will have huge benefits for children and young people. We will put in place legislation that ensures: all children and young people from birth up to leaving school have access to a Named Person; and a single planning process should be in place to support those children and young people needing the involvement of a range of services.
We need a care system that provides effective, rapid support for children and young people, centred on their long-term as well as their short-term needs and focused on securing healthy, caring permanence. Through legislation, we propose that: the right of young people leaving care to ask for help from a local authority is raised from the age of 21 to 25; a clear definition of corporate parenting is put on statute; a new ‘order’ is put on statute to support the parenting role of kinship carers; and use of Scotland’s Adoption Register by local authorities is made compulsory.