Draft guidance for children's rights and services planning in Scotland: consultation analysis

Guidance on Children's Rights (Part 1, section 2) and Children's Services Planning (Part 3) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.


Background to the Guidance

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 [1] (the Act) sets out fundamental reforms to the way services for children and young people are designed, delivered and reviewed. The legislation forms a key part of the Scottish Government's strategy for making Scotland the best place to grow up.

The Act, underpinned by the Scottish Government's commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ( UNCRC) and the national children's services improvement programme, Getting It Right for Every Child ( GIRFEC), also establishes the new legal framework within which services are to work together in support of children, young people and families.

The guidance for Part One (section two) and Part Three aims to assist those with responsibilities within public authorities and relevant organisation to implement and deliver key provisions of the Act, namely to produce reports on children's rights and regarding children's services planning.

Part One (section two) of the guidance reflects the new duties placed on a range of public authorities (including all local authorities and associated health boards) to report on the steps they have taken to ensure children's rights are kept under consideration and furthered where possible. As well as promoting and raising awareness and understanding of the UNCRC amongst children and young people, the duty outlined asks public authorities to publish reports every three years to explain what they are doing to encourage and support children's rights. The guidance put forward is non-statutory and is aimed at public authorities with responsibilities for implementing and delivering on the provisions of the Act.

Part Three of the Act introduces a range of new duties, requiring certain public services to work together to design, plan and deliver services for children and families. It seeks to improve outcomes for all children and young people by ensuring that local planning and delivery of services is integrated, focused on securing quality and value through preventative approaches, and dedicated safeguarding, in addition to supporting and promoting child wellbeing. To achieve this, Part Three sets out a statutory framework for children's services planning including its scope and aims.

Responsibility for this planning rests with local authorities and health boards, as well as with a range of other local and national bodies who consult with, or who are obligated to participate, at various stages of the plans development. The plans should demonstrate what local authorities and health boards are doing to ensure that services are integrated for service users (including children, young people, and families), that they make the best use of resources and are meeting their aims to safeguard, support and promote wellbeing, early intervention and prevention.

Although, covering different aspects of the legislation and forming statutory and non-statutory guidance, there are significant connections between Part One (section two) and Part Three of the guidance and so have been consulted on jointly.

The Consultation Process

The consultation was open from the 21 st March to 13 th June 2016 and included a one-off consultation event. The full day event, held on the 31 st May 2016, was open to a range of stakeholders and Scottish Government staff with the morning spent discussing the guidance around Part One (section 2) and the afternoon, Part Three. Group discussions were based around the questions asked within the consultation with feedback provided both orally on the day and written after the event. This analysis does not include contributions from the stakeholders event but have and will continue to inform future discussions regarding the guidance. Many of themes raised on the day were reflected in the responses to the consultation as a whole.

The consultation consisted of thirteen questions. Six questions were put forward regarding Part One (section two), including a question on the links between Part One and Part Three of the guidance, and seven questions regarding Part Three. The questions invited respondents to share their views on aspects of the proposed guidance, the core notions it built upon, and to provide any additional comments or further suggestions they had.

Both quantitative and qualitative approaches to analysing the responses were adopted to reflect the nature of the consultation questions, many of which supported both closed and open responses. The ten closed questions provided either a 'yes' or a 'no' response option. Only eight of these gave space allowing for additional comments though only asked directly for suggestions on improvements. Three questions were open and asked for further comments (two) and about the links between Part One (section two) and Part Three of the guidance.

The submitted responses to the consultation came in different formats. Most of the responses were submitted via the online portal Citizen Space (38 responses), with others emailed through to the consultation team (20 responses). Some of the responses emailed did not follow the consultation response form layout. In regard to the closed questions, these responses were categorised by the analyst, where arguments for and against were presented by respondents it has been quantified in the analysis as 'to an extent' by the analyst. The open questions were integrated using the analysts best judgement to ensure these responses were captured.

The responses were analysed under each question with key themes extracted. For any given question, the number of themes identified might be higher than the number of comments received as one comment could include a number of themes. Further analysis around the respondent type will also be detailed where appropriate.

The analysis is based on those who responded to the consultation and is therefore not necessarily representative of the wider population.

Who Responded

There were fifty-eight responses to the consultation. Of these, the majority (55) were received from organisations with 3 from individuals. A breakdown of respondents by category is detailed in the table below. This categorisation was carried out by the analyst.

Table 1: Respondent rates by category

Respondent Category Number of Responses
Academic 1
Health Board 7
Individual 3
Local Government 12
Local Partnership 5
Public Body 12
Representative Body 4
Third Sector 14
Total 58

The most responses were received from third sector organisations who submitted 14, followed by local government (12) and local partnerships (12). Only 1 response was received from an academic institute and four from representative bodies.

Fifty-four respondents gave permission for their responses to be published online, with 38 of those allowing full disclosure, 16 requested for their response to remain anonymous. The publishable responses will be made available online in due course.

It is unclear in all but 2 of the responses from the organisations as to whether additional members, stakeholders or other individuals were involved in contributing to the single response received. In one case, there was no discussion on who was involved, just that a number of stakeholders were asked. In the other case, details were provided: two events were held by Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector, with a wide range of third sector organisations attending. There was a combined attendance of around 50 people, with 30 questionnaires returned, all of which fed in to their response to the consultation.

Some of the respondents to the consultation only answered the questions relating to either their service or to the aspect of the guidance that they would be involved in. Consequently not all of the 58 responders answered all questions; 53 answered all or some of the questions concerning Part One (section two) and 51 answered some or all the questions about Part Three.

Three respondents explicitly stated that they would only be responding to certain aspects of the consultation request. Connected to this, two organisations submitted two separate responses; one answering Part One (section two) and the other Part

Three consultation questions. These have been treated as separate responses for the purpose of the analysis. The number of respondents to each question will be clearly detailed as each question is discussed.

The level of detail provided in the open text space as comments differed considerably across the responses. Of note, the more detailed comments were often linked to third sector organisations and local partnerships respondents. This has been taken into consideration during the analysis.

Structure of report

A brief introduction will conceptualise the two distinct parts of the guidance and the associated objectives. The remainder of the report will present a question-by-question analysis of submitted responses; Section One focusing on Part One (section two) and Section Two on Part Three. Each of the questions will then be examined in turn exploring the respondents views on the guidance, this will include any issues or concerns raised. Both quantitative and qualitative data will be drawn upon in presenting the analysis. Summary tables will illustrate the breakdown of responses to each question.


Back to top