Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill: children's rights and wellbeing impact assessment

Scottish Government's assessment of the impacts on children's rights and wellbeing of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill.

CRWIA Stage 1: Screening - key questions

1. What aspects of the policy/measure will affect children and young people up to the age of 18?

The Bill will set targets to reduce the numbers of children and young people living in poverty in Scotland and underpin these targets with a robust delivery plan aligned to parliamentary terms.

The action taken to meet these targets align to the overarching aim to build a Fairer Scotland; reducing inequality and improving the life chances of all citizens.

Indirectly the provisions in the Bill will impact on all children and young people as a reduction in poverty rates will decrease the associated impacts of living in poverty.

2. What likely impact - direct or indirect - will the policy/measure have on children and young people?

Setting statutory targets will have the direct impact of encouraging Scottish Ministers to put in place policies that will help them to achieve the targets - i.e. policies that will lead to a reduction in child poverty rates.

The indirect impact on children is wide ranging and will vary dependent on socio-economic standing and the depth of poverty experienced.

The Scottish Government already has a wide range of policies in place which will support achievement of the ambitions outlined in the Bill. Policies such as reducing the attainment gap will have direct impacts on children and will also serve to tackle the effects of poverty on children. Increases to Child Care hours will also directly impact on children and will serve to enhance their learning experience, this may also have indirect benefits as parents are able to work and earn more.

Other policies such as promoting the living wage will have indirect impacts on children as increases to household income will reduce the number of children living in poverty.

3. Are there particular groups of children and young people who are more likely to be affected than others?

As the Bill will set statutory income targets to reduce the number of children living in poverty the primary group impacted will be those children living in poverty. A reduction in the numbers of children in poverty will impact on various groups including pre-school children, children in rural areas etc, and might be expected to particularly benefit children in household types where poverty levels are particularly high - including households with a disabled child, and minority ethnic households. With this in mind, it will be important that benefits yielded are distributed in a way that advances equality. More detail on equality considerations is presented in the Equality Impact Assessment for this Bill.

Tackling poverty in childhood will reduce the risk of children growing up with the damaging effects of poverty and will increase Health and reduce the risk of offending within many of the most disadvantaged families.

Longer term the effects of this Bill will impact on all Children and Families in Scotland as a reduction in childhood poverty will improve life outcomes and reduce intergenerational cycles of poverty.

We can expect the delivery plan to build on the range of activity already underway, including;

  • Our commitment to promoting the Living Wage;
  • Free school meals;
  • Expansion of funded early learning and childcare;
  • The Early Years Collaborative and Raising Attainment for All Programme;
  • The Play, Talk Read and Read, Write, Count campaigns;
  • The Scottish Attainment Challenge: support by the Attainment Scotland Fund (£750 million over this parliamentary session);
  • New duties introduced by the Education (Scotland) Act 2016 to tackle inequalities of educational outcome experienced by pupils as a result of socio-economic disadvantage;
  • Implementing the recommendations of the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce;
  • Delivery of our affordable homes and social rent targets;
  • The People and Communities Fund;
  • Enhancing the rights of young carers as set out in the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016, to be commenced;
  • The new Maternity and Early Years Allowance;
  • The deployment of 250 links workers in GPs' surgeries in our most deprived neighbourhoods to help people get access to the services that they need; increasing the Health Visiting workforce and implementing the refreshed Universal Pathway;
  • Expanding the Family Nurse Partnership programme; and
  • A review of maternity and neo-natal services.

4. Who else have you involved in your deliberations?

Early and extensive deliberations have been conducted with the Ministerial Advisory Group on Child Poverty, The Independent Advisor on Poverty & Inequality, The Child Poverty Action Group, One Parent Families Scotland and other key external stakeholders on what action is required to tackle Child Poverty and the best format of any proposed Bill or Legislation.

This builds on the work undertaken when implementing the Child Poverty Strategy and the associated measurement framework; the sophisticated measurement framework was developed with experts and leading children's organisations and is widely supported by stakeholders.

5. Will this require a CRWIA?

Due to the scope of the Child Poverty Bill and the scale of potential impacts a full CRWIA will be required

CRWIA Declaration

CRWIA required

CRWIA not required



Policy lead

Gillian Cross, Policy Officer, Social Justice & Regeneration


05 July 2016

Deputy Director or equivalent

Shirley Laing, Deputy Director, Social Justice & Regeneration


05 July 2016


Email: Gillian Cross

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