Enforcement of Part 3
150. The first three-year period under Part 3 (Children’s Services Planning) began on 1 April 2017. Compliance with the legislation will be carried out, primarily, at a local level. A Children’s Services Plan and its accompanying annual report are both public documents, enabling local communities to hold service providers to account on their performance. Moreover, by placing duties on local authorities and relevant health boards to consult with relevant persons and “other services providers” (section 10), and duties on those relevant persons and “other service providers” to participate in the process, the expectation is that all parties involved will hold each other to account. Considering the scope and importance of services covered by a Children’s Services Plan, those responsible for scrutiny and governance at a local level (such as elected councillors and non-executive board members) are likely to take a keen interest in both the development and implementation of the plan.
151. In addition to local enforcement mechanisms, Scottish Ministers also reserve powers (under a number of different sections) to issue directions in relation to certain aspects of children’s services planning.