Best Start, Bright Futures - tackling child poverty delivery plan 2022-2026: easy read
An easy read version of the second tackling child poverty delivery plan due under the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017. Outlining action for the period 2022 to 2026.
Best Start, Bright Futures: Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2022-2026 - Easy Read Version
Best Start, Bright Futures says out how we will tackle child poverty in Scotland.
It is not just a plan for the Scottish Government. It is a plan for all of Scotland. All of society must work together to make the changes needed.
No one action will make the changes needed. We need to make changes to what we do and what we spend our money on. This needs to be based on what works. We need to work with all sectors to create better jobs for different types of people. We need to spend more on areas such as childcare and transport. We will provide support at the right time in order to help families out of poverty.
To tackle child poverty, we will focus our actions on those most at risk of poverty. The 6 types of family most at risk of poverty are:
- Lone (single) parents
- Minority ethnic families
- Young mothers (who are under 25 years old)
- Families with a disabled adult or child
- Families with three or more children
- Families with a child under one years old
We know helping families out of poverty is a big challenge. Child poverty targets are challenging. This is harder because of things like EU Exit, COVID-19 and the cost of living.
These challenges have made us want to work together harder. We want to make a bigger impact on the lives of children and their families.
Some of the big things we are planning to do are spend more money on social security support. This will give families the support they need. This includes increasing Scottish Child Payment to £25 per week per child by the end of 2022.
We will also give more employment support to parents. We aim to support 12,000 parents to find and stay in work.
Scotland's Offer to Families - Summary
We will work together so that different services work better for those who need them most. We need to learn how to do this better. We will test new ways of doing things and see if they work. We will work better to find out how what we do is helping families out of poverty.
Helping parents to find, stay and progress in work
We know that work can offer a way out of poverty for many families. But there are many barriers to finding a job, keeping a job and progressing in a job. We know that we need businesses to be creating more jobs. These need to offer fair and flexible employment.
We know parents need access to the right types of jobs and support . People also need wider support, including access to childcare, travel, digital skills, wellbeing support, money security and warm and affordable homes.
We will do more to help parents find, stay and progress in work. We will do this by:
- Giving more help to parents who are trying to find a job. This includes having a keyworker to help find a job and support to access training. This will help people have the right skills they need for a job.
- Making it easier for parents to get childcare. This will be affordable and accessible. The childcare will meet both the children and their carers needs
- Helping people online so they can access employment. Providing online support, such as benefit information, training and education opportunities.
- Creating more jobs, and making jobs offer better pay and conditions for parents
Making more jobs available to parents
We will spend more on employment support. This will give more parents better support that meets their needs.
We will have a new fund to help parents deal with some of the barriers they have looking for work.
We will work with health boards and local councils to create opportunities for parents. This will be for those who have been unemployed for a long time.
We will have a new Adult Learning Strategy for Scotland. This will make sure families at highest risk of child poverty are a key part of our support to build skills.
With all of these actions together, we hope to support 12,000 parents into work.
Making childcare more available so parents can work
We already offer early learning and childcare for children aged 3 and 4, and some 2 year olds. We plan to offer early learning and childcare for more children aged 1 and 2. This will start with households on a low-income. We will have school-aged childcare. This will offer care before and after school and during the holidays.
We will bring in a bus fund to help local councils improve public transport. We will help families on a low income access transport .
Putting people online so they can access opportunities
We have a project called Connecting Scotland. We will spend more money on this to get more people online. This will help them to get devices, internet and the skills to use the internet. This will aim to help families on a low income.
Changing our economy
Everyone should have the same access to work opportunities. We will work with employers to remove the barriers parents face when looking for work.
We will publish our new Fair Work Action Plan. This says what we plan to do to end employment inequalities.
We will promote fair work practices. This includes paying the real Living Wage. This is the amount of money people need to be paid so they can live and pay for all their needs.
Supporting families to live and meet their needs
We will deliver services in a way that gives people choices and meets their needs. Services will support everyone to live a healthy full life. We will do this by:
- Focusing on people and places, so that people have the support and services they need in their own communities
- Giving more support through social security
- Supporting people to increase the amount of money coming into their household and reducing their costs.
- Giving people access to warm and affordable homes
Changing people and places for the better
We will spend more Whole Family Wellbeing Funding. This will go towards giving families services that stop them from becoming poor. It helps them when they are in poverty. They will get support that meets their needs, at the right time, for as long as they need it.
We want to fight health inequalities and give better access to the support families need. We will spend more on our Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund.
We will give funding to charities that help families out of poverty.
We will invest in places to help build healthy, happy communities.
We aim to give more and better financial and emotional support to parents. This will help lower the impact of poverty and stop it from happening in the first place.
Give better support through social security
We will double the Scottish Child Payment to £20 a week per child from April 2022. We will extend this for all children under 16 who are allowed it. We will also increase it to £25, by the end of 2022.
We will raise the amount of 8 Scottish social security benefits including Best Start Grants and Carer's Allowance Supplement.
We will give more support to carers and link to wider services. We also plan to give an extra £10 a week to people who get Scottish Carer's Assistance. This is for people who care for more than one disabled person.
We will help reduce the negative effects of the Benefit Cap. This will support families who are most affected by child poverty.
We aim to give more money to households on a low income. This will help children out of poverty and fight the increase of the cost of living.
Helping people get all the money they are entitled to
We will make the benefits system easier to use so people can access support when they need it.
We will take action to tackle barriers some families face. This includes finding out why some groups of people do not claim benefits or use services.
We will increase access to advice and support. We will also increase funding for advice services. This will include more advice and support in places families go. This includes in health and education venues. For example, in GP practices or in schools.
We aim to make sure families get the money support they are entitled to.
Give people access to warm and affordable homes
Our Affordable Housing Supply Programme will build more affordable energy efficient homes. We will make sure larger family homes are available where needed.
We will help to reduce child poverty by taking action to reduce costs for families in private rented housing. We aim to improve private sector housing. This includes making sure people can afford it and it is good quality.
We will spend more money on our Fuel Insecurity Fund. This will help with the higher costs of living. It will help people with their energy and heating costs.
We will work with housing associations to fight homelessness. We will fund the Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans and Housing First for Families.
Support the next generation to be all they can be
Best Start, Bright Futures is about the actions needed to tackle child poverty. This is through supporting parents to earn more and reduce their costs. But we know to tackle child poverty, we also need to take other action. We need to support children's wellbeing so they reach their potential. We want to avoid them becoming parents in poverty in the future.
We want Scotland to be the best place in the world to grow up. We want every child to grow up safe, loved and respected.
We will do this by:
- Giving children the best start to life
- Supporting children to learn and grow
- Supporting young people after they leave school
Give children the best start to life
We will spend money on play parks so that all children have access to quality play in their area.
We will develop a new set of materials as part of our Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) programme. These will support professionals to help children through difficult times. They will make sure children are getting the right support, at the right time.
We will continue to fund the Promise Partnership Fund. This will help organisations support children, young people and families who have experience of care.
We aim to give the right support at the right time for children. this will improve their health and wellbeing from birth.
Support children to learn and grow
We will work with local councils, Education Scotland and schools to make sure that every child can do well in school. They will get the skills and support they need.
We know computer and digital devices are important in education. We will make sure that every school aged child has access to a device.
We will develop a new Youth Work Plan which will provide services to young people who need support the most. Youth work can fight poverty by supporting young people to make good life choices. These then lead to a better future.
We aim to fight poverty by helping all children and young people to do well in school and support their health and wellbeing.
Support young people after they leave school
We will develop a School Leavers' Toolkit. This will support young people after they leave school and move into the adult world. This will have information for school leavers about budgeting, finances and their rights.
We will spend money on the Young Person's Guarantee. This will mean new and better education, skills and job opportunities. There will be extra support for young people who face barriers in getting a job.
We will raise student support so it is the same as the Living Wage. This will give more support for those who need it.
We aim to support young people to achieve better life outcomes and stop them from becoming parents in poverty in the future.
A vision for Scotland
The actions in this plan can help us achieve our 2030 child poverty targets.
We will help families get out of poverty by taking action to help families have more money. We will provide support that is accessible at the right time and meets peoples need.
We want to improve employment and skills support. We want to provide more access to the internet and childcare. This will give parents the chance to get better jobs, better online support and increase their incomes.
This plan is just the start of our new way to tackle child poverty. We will work with other people and services to take these actions forward. We will review what we do to learn and improve the support and services.
We want everyone in Scotland to take action and support our plan to tackle child poverty. This will help us become a fairer, more equal country. All children and families are supported to be healthy, safe and happy.
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