Individual policy actions will probably not be sufficient on their own to lift families with children out of poverty. Rather, a package of policies that fit seamlessly together is required. Evidence on what works to tackle child poverty over the last few years has reinforced this message. As a result, the range of policies in the new delivery plan Best Start, Bright Futures reflect the complex system.
How well theoretical individual and cumulative impacts of policies are realised, will depend on how much “friction” there is in the system for people as they move through it. Therefore, an important element of the evaluation approach to child poverty, is to examine how well the system is working for families. This includes how well the policies have been designed, and are being implemented as a coherent package. For example, is suitable childcare available to support employability services? Do the policies, and their implementation at a local level, seem joined-up from the perspective of the service user? Are there gaps in the coverage of the package of policies, for example are there particular groups who are not being reached?
This is an area where we have taken some initial steps: identifying and mapping the child poverty system; understanding the problems for people with lived experience; and reviewing published evidence of what works to tackle child poverty.
Taking forward evaluation in this space will examine what is intended from the system-change and place-based policy approach in the Plan. It is highly complex and it is likely that a range of currently unknown impacts will arise, causing us to be prepared to re-assess how best to identify and monitor improvements for families.
An evaluation approach has been published. This evaluation approach is a first attempt by the Scottish Government at assessing the current child poverty system and any progress to simplify it. We expect our approach to develop over time.
This report represents the first assessment of system change in the child poverty system. This report aims to identify and understand the range of approaches taken to system change and person-centred support in local child poverty systems through the initiatives committed to in Best Start, Bright Futures. The report walks through the process undertaken to develop and agree on the logic model or theory of change towards system change in the child poverty context.
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback