National parenting strategy: making a positive difference to children and young people through parenting

Our national parenting strategy seeks to strengthen the support on offer to parents and make it easier for them to access this support.

Section 4: Coordinating our efforts

The National Parenting Strategy doesn't exist in isolation. It will be influenced by – and will build upon – other key drivers for change.

Recent years have seen Scotland embark on a major programme of activity designed to improve outcomes for children and young people. This activity ranges from overhauling guidance on maternity care [17] , improving delivery of health services in the early years [18] and publication of the Early Years Framework, to the review of child protection procedures and working with the police to agree that a national concerns form be used by all police officers who come across a child they have worries about.

It also includes working with Community Planning Partnerships and their members to embed the GIRFEC approach, with increasing evidence of the core components being put into practice; embedding the role of the 'Named Person' to support a child's wellbeing; incorporating the GIRFEC national practice model into the Red Book given to parents by health visitors after the birth of every child to record progress; along with Scotland's first ever Child Poverty Strategy, recognising the need to support parents on low incomes.

Complementing this work, we introduced the Curriculum for Excellence to deliver a more coherent, flexible and enriched education for 3 to 18 year olds and help every child and young person develop the knowledge, skills and attributes for learning, life and work.

Instrumental to accelerating progress in each of these areas is the Early Years Taskforce. Established in 2011 to ensure better partnership working and stronger leadership across sectors, it has set out a vision of what needs to be done to achieve transformational change in the early years and the ways in which families, communities and services can help achieve it.

Linked to this, the Early Years Collaborative – a multi-agency quality improvement programme aimed at delivering change at a national scale through Community Planning Partnerships – is bringing together good practice from across Scotland in order that we can deliver improved public services for children in their early years.

Everyone together

Naturally, change of this scale and complexity takes time to implement but we are already seeing improved outcomes for children and increased efficiencies for the services that support them. However, to achieve our ambition to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up, we must ensure that everyone involved in supporting Scotland's families – from Scottish Government, NHS Scotland and local authorities, to the voluntary sector, local communities and parents themselves – is working together to achieve a better start in life for children through the principles of prevention, early intervention and flexible, accessible help and support.

We also need to ensure that our education, health and social services workforces are appropriately skilled to deliver effective support to children, their parents and families. The Common Core of Skills, Knowledge & Understanding and Values for the 'Children's Workforce' in Scotland is one example of the work being done in this area, outlining the key attributes that children's workforces across all sectors should possess.


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