This is the first children and young people’s services plan in Scotland to focus on the support provided by allied health professionals ( AHPs). The plan sets the direction of travel for the design and delivery of AHP services to meet the well-being needs of children and young people. It is underpinned by the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, the principles of Getting it Right for Every Child ( GIRFEC) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Our ambitions are focused on AHPs working with children and young people, their parents, carers, families, stakeholders and communities to improve their well-being. The plan highlights the critical place of prevention and enablement and promotes least intrusive interventions through a tiered model of service design and delivery (universal, targeted and specialist levels of provision) directly linked to well-being outcomes.
The plan sets out five key ambitions for AHP services for children and young people based on the outcomes they, their parents, carers, families and stakeholders told us mattered to their lives. The key ambitions are shown in the table below.
Table. The five ambitions of the children and young people’s services plan
|Participation and engagement||Children and young people’s views will be asked for, listened to and acted upon to improve individual and environmental well-being outcomes and AHP services.|
|Early intervention and prevention||Every child will have the best possible start in life, with AHP services using an asset-based approach to aid prevention through universal services and supportive nurturing environments at home, nursery and school.|
|Partnership and integration||Children and young people, their parents, carers and families will have their well-being outcomes met at the most appropriate level through the creation of mutually beneficial, collaborative and supportive partnerships among and within organisations and communities.|
|Access||All children and young people in Scotland will access AHP services as and when they need them at the appropriate level to meet their well-being needs, with services supporting self-resilience through consistent decision-making.|
|Leadership for quality improvement||Children and young people, their parents, carers and families will experience services that are led by AHPs who are committed to a leadership and quality improvement approach that drives innovation and the delivery of high-quality, responsive, child-centred care.|
This transformational plan creates a map for all AHP services for children and young people and provides an opportunity to reach those families we are currently not reaching.
Children and young people’s services are one component of the services delivered by AHPs in Scotland. It is critical going forward that we share workstreams with colleagues and partners in adult services throughout people’s lifetimes. Practitioners in all service areas are delivering interventions to achieve preventative, enabling and rehabilitation outcomes, sharing access, workforce resources and data across services. It is essential that we work collaboratively to achieve the best possible outcomes and learn from interventions being tested in other areas.
The plan delivers one of the actions from the AHP National Delivery Plan, AHPs as Agents of Change in Health and Social Care,  and will contribute to the developing Active and Independent Living Improvement Programme. It is important to highlight the critical place that addressing children and young people’s health and well-being has on their later life chances and experiences and on the use of health and social care resources. Significant shared work between children and young people’s and adult services will be required to deliver the key outcomes of the Active and Independent Living Improvement Programme.
The achievement of the ambitions in this plan will deliver transformational service change, building on successes and best practice in partnership with practitioners in social care, education and the third sector. It is critical that work is underpinned by strategic planning partnerships across agencies, with effective strategic support to enable AHP practitioners and leaders to deliver child-centred, effective and quality services for the children and young people of Scotland.
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