Children's services planning: guidance

Updated guidance (2020) for local authorities and health boards on exercising the functions conferred by Part 3 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Appendix A: Children’s Services Plans Review Criteria

The Scottish Government will review all Children’s Services Plans between April-October of the year of submission.  Partnerships will receive written feedback on their individual plans following the review. The review will be based on the following criteria. 

Does the Children’s Services Plan:

  • Have a clear, ambitious compelling shared vision of what will be achieved by the end of the plan?
  • Reflect relevant National Performance Framework Outcomes?  
  • Incorporate a robust evidence-based joint strategic needs assessment of the current population of the children and young people in its area?
  • Include analysis of quantitative and qualitative evidence and data relating to both service performance and child wellbeing?
  • Identify a manageable number of measureable priorities clearly linked to the joint needs assessment to ensure that the rationale behind the priorities is explicit?
  • Cover local services which fall into the categories of both ‘children’s services’ and ‘related services’ in its scope?
  • Recognise and describe services which can fulfil both ‘primary prevention’ and ‘early intervention’ across all aspects of wellbeing?
  • Describe how the Community Planning Partnership is creating and maintaining effective Getting it Right for Every Child practice for individual children, young people and their families?
  • Describe how the Community Planning Partnership is using children’s rights to inform the structural, procedural and outcome framework of the plan?
  • Convey a shared sense of ongoing engagement and ownership with staff, children, young people, families and the wider community, evidencing that the Community Planning Partnership has made full use of stakeholder’s ideas and suggestions?
  • Set out a comprehensive strategy for supporting families through a broad range of preventative and early intervention approaches from universal services to targeted intensive support and describe the rationale for how and where the family support services are provided?
  • Describe what services are going to be developed in the future and specifying which areas will see disinvestment in order to facilitate the shift of resources towards preventative and early intervention options?
  • Set clear indicators for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of children’s services in terms of their success in responding to and addressing children’s wellbeing needs?
  • Present all the information in an easily accessible format which is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-related)?
  • Illustrate links to other statutory plans and reports?

The Scottish Government will also provide an analytical evaluation report which will provide an overview of the findings of all of the plans


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