52. The Scottish Government’s commitment to its children and young people is not in doubt, both in its rhetoric and the planning programme for this parliamentary term.
53. Today, the number of families living in difficult circumstances is likely to increase with demands on services which are subject to huge cuts. The suspected withdrawal of prevention services to preserve protection services, changes in welfare and benefit which may result in reduced financial support and the possibility of families moving due to over-capacity, and a universal credit system paid direct to adults could result in greater numbers of children suffering greater degrees of neglect in greater isolation. These wider reforms are of great to concern to children who may be living in neglectful situations and may have the impact of worsening an already difficult homelife.
54. The Scottish Government has protected Scottish society from some of the wider UK welfare reforms, but to what extent can this be maintained? The Government has clearly articulate its vision for Scotland and published an action plan to address many of the structural and community issues which are the backdrop to the lives of neglected children. In terms of achieving real change in the lives of individual children, the legislative and policy building blocks are in place.
55. The challenge will be moving from the rhetoric and planning to concrete change and in the context of the UK Government’s wider and significant changes to welfare provision.