9 Modernising Children's Services and the Children's Hearings System for the Twenty-first Century
A number of policy initiatives and a revised legislative framework have been developed, commencing in the first decade ion the new millennium. In 2006/2007 there was consultation on a proposed Children's Services Bill. Consideration was given to a single national body for the children's hearings system, bringing together the various bodies involved in support, organisation and delivery of the children's hearings system. However, instead, a bill was brought forward, and subsequently passed as the Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 [ see Law and Procedure]. One of the key changes is the establishment of Children's Hearings Scotland, a non-governmental departmental body led by a National Convener. Duties to select, appoint, train and support panel members will fall to the National Convener and the will discharge these functions by way of area support teams. National Standards underpin practice and procedure [ see Roles and Responsibilities].
Getting it Right for Every Child
Getting it Right for Every Child (sometimes referred to as GIRFEC), introduced in 2006, seeks to provide a framework for all services and agencies working with children and families to deliver a co-ordinated approach which is appropriate, proportionate and timely. It is intended to build solutions with and around, children, young people and their families. GIRFEC is underpinned by values and principles that have been developed from knowledge, research and experience. They reflect the rights of children spelt out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the Scottish Children's Charter (2004). GIRFEC is based on ten core components which together describe a model of practice that has been proven to improve delivery of services to children and young people.
Children and Young People Bill
The Children and Young People Bill will be introduced to Parliament in 2013, paving the way for fundamental reforms to the ways in which children and their families are supported and in which services are provided to them.
The Bill will bring together earlier plans for separate legislation on children's services and children's rights into a single, comprehensive framework. Consultation on this proposed new Bill and consultation in 2011 on the proposed Rights and Children and Young People Bill will be used to determine the detail of the new legislative proposals.
The Children and Young People Bill will cover:
The Bill will embed the rights of children and young people across the public sector in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; it will impose duties on Scottish Government to further the rights of children and young people and promote and raise awareness of the UNCRC and on the wider public sector to report on what they are doing to take forward realisation of the rights set out in the UNCRC.
The powers of Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People will be extended to undertake investigations on behalf of individual children and young people.
Early learning and Childcare
The Bill will improve the availability of high quality, flexible, integrated early learning and childcare.
Getting it right for every child
Legislation will be put in place to ensure that all children and young people from birth up to leaving school have access to a Named Person and that there is a single planning process in place to support those children and young people needing the involvement of a range of services.
Through legislation it is proposed that the right of young people leaving care to ask for help from a local authority is raised from the age of 21 to 25, that a clear definition of Corporate Parenting is put on statute, that a new statutory 'order' supports the parenting role of kinship carers and that use of Scotland's Adoption Register by local authorities is made compulsory.
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