This Government's vision for children and young people is clear: We want Scotland to be the best place in the world for them to grow up. A place where rights are respected and where children can access all the opportunities and support they need, when they need it.
We all have a role to play in making this happen - as families, as communities, as a society. We want to ensure that services are designed and available to children and families to give them the support they need in the right way, at the right time. For many, that kind of help may not be necessary, though services should always be ready to provide it if appropriate. For some, if children and families get the right support early enough, concerns may not become crises - and for a few, crises will not become tragedies.
Our approach to improving the services that support children and young people is based on the principles of Getting It Right for Every Child. The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, passed by our Parliament in February last year, sets out a new legal framework within which services will work together to support children, young people and families. Key elements of the legislation will be the introduction of the Named Person service and the Child's Plan. We expect to commence these duties in the Act on 31 August 2016, and as part of the preparation for this, draft guidance explaining how local authorities, health boards and others should be carrying out the duties was prepared and presented for full public consultation in February this year.
The consultation closed this May and I am pleased now to present the Scottish Government's response to the consultation. It not only sets out how we will revise the guidance (final draft will be issued by November this year) but, extending the theme of working collectively with stakeholders and parent bodies to work through the challenges of preparing for August next year, it also details the other activities underway to support implementation.
I wish to thank Griesbach & Associates for their work in providing such a useful analysis of the responses to this consultation, and all those who contributed their views to the consultation and who continue to work with us on ensuring that the guidance, and all our support materials, meet the needs of strategic leaders, practitioners and the wider public alike.
Aileen Campbell MSP
Minister For Children and Young People
Email: Carole Campariol-Scott