News In Focus
Call for evidence issued on Children and Young People Bill
Views on the general principles of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill have been invited by the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committeein its call for written evidence on the bill, issued today.
The bill, introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 17 April, aims to put children and young people "at the heart of planning and delivery of services and ensuring their rights are respected across the public sector”.
Specifically, it aims to:
- ensure that children’s rights properly influence the design and delivery of policies and services, by placing new duties on ministers and the public sector and increasing the powers of Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People;
- provide for each child having a "named person" to promote and safeguard their wellbeing, with individual plans being prepared for children identified as having a "wellbeing need";
- strengthen the role of early years support in children’s and families’ lives by increasing the amount and flexibility of funded early learning and childcare;
- ensure better permanence planning for looked-after children by improving support for kinship carers, families and care leavers, extending corporate parenting across the public sector, and putting Scotland’s National Adoption Register on a statutory footing; and
- strengthen existing legislation that affects children and young people by making procedural and technical changes in the areas of children’s hearings support arrangements, secure accommodation placements, and school closures.
The committee would also welcome views on relevant issues that are not included in the bill, but which respondents consider could be included.
Committee convener Stewart Maxwell MSP commented: “The aim of this bill is to make a difference to the lives of children in Scotland. Our committee will examine the measures it contains and explore the areas covered by the Bill to ensure that Scotland really does become the best place to grow up in.
“We will consider the implications of the proposal to legislate for a rise in free early learning and childcare from 475 hours to a minimum of 600 hours per year, and also look in-depth at the provisions to increase a child’s right to be heard through embedding the Getting it Right for Every Child approach.
“Given the committee’s ongoing inquiry into looked-after children, we will be keen to hear views concerning the proposals in the bill to improve permanence planning for looked-after children."
Written evidence must be submitted by no later than 26 July 2013. The committee expects to take oral evidence on the bill in September.
Click here to access the bill and accompanying documents. Written submissions should be submitted in Word format to: firstname.lastname@example.org