Developing a local child poverty action report: guidance

Guidance for local authorities on developing a local child poverty action report.


Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017

To set a clear agenda for tackling, reporting on and measuring child poverty, the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act:

  • sets out four statutory income based targets for 2030/31
  • sets out four interim targets for 2023/24
  • places a duty on Scottish Ministers to publish child poverty delivery plans in 2018, 2022, and 2026, and to report on those plans annually
  • places a duty on local authorities and health boards to report annually on activity they are taking, and will take, to reduce child poverty
  • established a statutory Poverty and Inequality Commission with functions related to the child poverty targets.

Child poverty targets

The Act sets out four statutory, income-based interim and final targets. These are national targets. Local authorities and health boards are not obliged to meet these targets locally. Rather, LCPARs are to describe ongoing and future activity which will contribute to a reduction in child poverty and therefore increase the likelihood of these targets being met at national level.



Interim Target 2023

(% of children)

Final Targets 2030

(% of children)

Relative Poverty



Absolute Poverty



Low income & material deprivation



Persistent poverty









Progress and projections

Our first tackling child poverty delivery plan – ‘Every Child, Every Chance’ [2018-22] – set out the three key drivers of child poverty reduction – focusing on work and earnings, social security and household costs. It also set out the need to focus efforts on the six priority family types at greatest risk of poverty. Under the first delivery plan, we established our devolved social security system and delivered 12 benefits, including our new Scottish Child Payment. Together with local partners, we delivered employability services with our No One Left Behind approach and almost doubled funded childcare hours. We also delivered over 9,757 affordable homes and introduced free bus travel for under 22s.

The second tackling child poverty delivery plan –‘Best Start, Bright Futures’ 2022  [2022-26] – was launched in March 2022 and sets out a range of actions to drive progress towards the ambitious child poverty targets. The plan continues to direct action to the six priority families and three drivers of poverty. The plan’s offer to parents includes delivering a new employability offer with holistic support from a dedicated key worker, linked to support for more accessible and affordable childcare and transport. Other key actions include:

  • more than doubling the Scottish Child Payment
  • increasing the value of a further eight Scottish Social Security Benefits by 6%
  • mitigating the benefit cap as fully as possible within devolved competence and
  • improving access to warm, affordable homes

We also commit to innovating whole system change through place based ‘Pathfinders’. Foundational to ‘Best Start, Bright Futures’ is our goal to transform our ways of working so that we deliver holistic, person-centred support to families where and when they need it. 

For more detail on the content of the delivery plan and how it connects to local action to tackle child poverty, see ‘Best Start, Bright Futures’ and local action'.

Alongside ‘Best Start, Bright Futures’, we published a cumulative impact assessment which showed projected progress towards the national relative and absolute targets, in light of the plan’s key actions.

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