Publication - Advice and guidance

Statutory Guidance on Part 3 (Children's Services Planning) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014

Published: 23 Dec 2016

Guidance for local authorities and health boards on exercising the functions conferred by Part 3 (Children's Services Planning) of the Act.

Statutory Guidance on Part 3 (Children's Services Planning) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
Appendix A: Further Legislative And Policy Context

Appendix A: Further Legislative And Policy Context

211. This appendix provides a summary of relevant legislation, policy, national strategies and Scottish Government programmes not referred to at length in the main body of the guidance. Every local authority and their relevant health board are encouraged to consider how these agendas are addressed in, or by, their Children's Services Plan. Web links to further information are included throughout.

Joint inspections of children's services

212. At the request of Scottish Ministers, the Care Inspectorate is leading joint inspections of services for children and young people across Scotland. "Children and young people" means people under the age of 18 years or up to 21 years and beyond if they have been looked after. These inspections look at the difference services are making to the lives of children, young people and families. They take account of the full range of work with children, young people and families within a community planning partnership area. Inspection teams are made up of inspectors from the Care Inspectorate, Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland. Teams include young inspection volunteers, who are young people with direct experience of care and child protection services who receive training and support to contribute their knowledge and experience to help evaluate the quality and impact of partners' work.

213. In September 2014, the Care Inspectorate published "How well are we improving the lives of children, young people and families? A guide to evaluating services for children and young people using quality indicators". This framework is used by inspection teams to reach an independent evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of services. While inspectors keep in mind all of the indicators in the framework, they evaluate nine of the quality indicators in each inspection. These nine indicators are chosen for evaluation because they cover the experiences of children, young people and families and the difference services are making to their lives; the outcomes partners collectively are making in improving outcomes for children across the area; and key processes which are considered to be of critical importance to achieving positive outcomes for children and young people. These are leading change and improvement; planning and improving services and involving children and families in doing so; and assessment and planning for children who are particularly vulnerable, including children and young people who are looked after or in need of protection. Based on learning from joint inspections of services for children and young people, the Care Inspectorate has identified ten steps to successful children's services planning with the aim of supporting the work of Community Planning Partnerships, at Appendix D.

Child protection

214. Legislation places a variety of duties and responsibilities on services and organisations in respect to child protection in Scotland. These relate, primarily, to the investigation and response required in cases of (actual or potential) child abuse and/or neglect. However, at the time of this guidance's publication, the specific structures of collaboration and service-level planning for child protection (such as Child Protection Committees) are not prescribed in legislation. These structures and processes are instead set out in detailed national guidance. [39]

215. The National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (2014) emphasises the importance of planning by all relevant services. It states that "child protection planning should fit with the wider planning processes in the local area, showing how child protection is integral to wider economic and social objectives as expressed through community and integrated children services planning […]". [40] While there is no statutory requirement to undertake a discreet "child protection planning" process in a local area, the National Guidance is clear that Children's Services Plans should "include planned action to take forward improvements in services to protect children and meet their needs", and that it is through children's services planning that child protection planning should be linked in with wider local and national processes, such as Local Outcome Improvement Plans. [41]

216. Local planning and reporting arrangements for child protection are at the discretion of Chief Officers of Child Protection Committees, but the National Guidance recommends that every local Child Protection Committee produces an annual plan/report, outlining the activities of agencies working together to protect children. In those local areas where such a plan and/or report is produced, it is important that the process is fully integrated into the wider children's service planning framework. The child protection planning process should be seen as a component part of children's services planning, contributing to the local Children's Services Plan and annual progress report (as required under section 13 of the Act).

Self-directed support

217. The Social Care (Self-direction Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 (the "Social Care Act") is intended to support, promote and protect the human rights and independent living of care and support users in Scotland. It aims to ensure that care and support is delivered in a way that supports choice and control over one's own life, and which respects the person's right to participate in society.

218. The Social Care Act establishes new legal principles of collaboration, informed choice and involvement, to which a local authority must have regard to when assessing and providing support to adults, children/families, adult carers and young carers. The local authority is also under a duty to take reasonable steps to facilitate the person's dignity and participation in the life of the community; which parallels their obligation to promote the "included" aspect of a child's wellbeing.

219. To facilitate greater choice and control over one's own care and support, the Social Care Act requires the local authority to offer four options to the support person: Option 1, a direct payment to the individual or their carer; Option 2, giving the individual (or their carer) the power to direct the available support; Option 3, services arranged for the person by the local authority; and Option 4, a mix of the first 3 options. The local authority is also under a duty to explain the nature and effect of the four options to all eligible people, and to signpost them to other sources of information and support (such as independent advocacy).

220. For further information on self-directed support, please refer to the Scottish Government (2014) Statutory Guidance to accompany the Social Care (Self-directed Support) Act 2013.

National Care Standards

221. The National Care Standards were developed by Scottish Ministers to help everyone understand what they have a right to expect when they access health and social care services. [42] They also help services understand and meet the quality and standards of care which they should provide. The Standards cover six key areas: dignity, privacy, choice, safety, realising potential, equality and diversity. They form an important part of the regulation and inspection of health and social care services.

222. Please note that, at the time of writing, the National Care Standards are under review. New standards are expected to be published, more closely aligned to the human rights and wellbeing principles which underpin the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, self-directed support, health and social care integration, and other policy agendas. For further information on the review of the care standards, please refer to the relevant pages of the Scottish Government website. [43]

Youth Justice

223. The youth justice strategy "Preventing Offending: Getting it Right for Children and Young People" builds on the considerable progress that has been made in reducing offending involving children and young people in Scotland through the whole system approach. Keeping children out of the justice system requires a smart approach, based on evidence.

224. The importance of sustaining a preventative approach to offending, which recognises the level of complexity and risk associated with a small number of children, should not be underestimated. Planning for services to address needs and risks, can include intensive interventions up to and including secure care.

225. Integration and sustainability of the whole system approach to offending is part of the strategic planning landscape including Community Planning, Children's Service Planning and Community Justice. Local and national partners have a key role to play and will be supported by the Youth Justice Improvement Board.

Children's Hearings

226. The children's hearings system is Scotland's unique and integrated approach to childcare and justice. Recently-reformed, the hearings system relies on many partners to deliver effectively for children and young people.

227. The two principal Public Bodies are the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration ( - responsible for the Children's Reporter service and for convening children's hearings, and Children's Hearings Scotland ( - responsible for supporting the national children's panel.

228. The Children's Hearings Improvement Partnership ( CHIP) was established in 2014 to deliver a focused improvement programme, prioritising initiatives that would benefit from multi-agency action to improve children's experiences and outcomes.

Community justice

229. The Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 (which will be implemented from 1 April 2017) establishes a new model for community justice services, with local delivery, partnerships and collaboration at their heart, and arrangements to provide national leadership and assurance.

230. The Act places responsibility for local planning and monitoring of community justice services with a defined set of Community Justice Partners (including local authorities, health boards and others). These partners have a duty to collaborate in preparing a strategic plan, and are accountable for delivering it. The community justice services to be delivered under this plan will be mainly focussed on adults, but there is likely to be an impact on children too, particularly where the recipient of a community justice service is a parent.

Mental health advocacy

231. The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 provides every person with a mental disorder with a right to independent advocacy. For the purposes of this legislation, independent advocacy is advocacy provided by persons other than a local authority or health board responsible for providing services in the area where the patient is to receive care or treatment. The legislation places a duty on local authorities and the NHS to ensure that such independent advocacy services are available in their area. Guidance accompanying the legislation recommends that a "Strategic Advocacy Plan" be developed in each local area, based on information gathered from a needs assessment, scoping exercises and consultations. These plans should outline the development and investment in advocacy over a minimum three-year period. For further information, please refer to Independent Advocacy: Guide for Commissioners (2013). [44]

Realigning Children's Services [45]

232. The Scottish Government aims to ensure that all parts of Scotland have the right services for children. Services geared towards prevention, early engagement, tailored to local needs, joined up and holistic. It aims to deliver this through supporting collaborative and evidence based planning and delivery.

233. The Realigning Children's Services programme works with Community Planning Partnerships to support communities to make informed decisions about where to invest in order to improve the lives of children. It supports a joint strategic commissioning approach, providing tools and support with which Community Planning Partners can gather better evidence, develop staff skills, and facilitate discussions within local partnerships.