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Children, Young People and Families

We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk

Children, Young People and FamiliesWhy is this National Outcome important?

Disadvantages experienced from birth will impact adversely the life chances of our children. By the time they reach their third birthday, children from deprived backgrounds can be as much as a year behind their peers in cognitive and social development. The impact of this disadvantage can be seen throughout an individual's life, in poor health, employment and social outcomes.

This Government's Purpose is to make Scotland a more successful nation from which all of Scotland's people, both now and in the future, can benefit. To achieve this and enhance our ability to compete, we need to tackle some of the significant inequalities which persist in Scotland. Tackling risks early and building the resilience of children, young people and families will improve the educational, health and employment outcomes of our people.

What will influence this National Outcome?

We know where we need to focus our efforts to achieve a smarter Scotland. Our early years framework focuses attention on the inequalities experienced in the first few years of life and will help to redress the inequalities this causes in later life. Through our vision for children's services we will ensure that the wide range of agencies involved work together to get it right for Scotland's children.

By acting swiftly in identifying and dealing with risks to children, young people and families, we can prevent these risks from becoming long-term problems. We will work with local government and other delivery partners to build the capacity and resilience of children, young people and families.

Improving health and wellbeing, building individual and community confidence and resilience, improving access to decent housing and other services, strengthening our response to offending behaviour and supporting the most vulnerable, such as young people leaving care will all help to create the conditions in which we can achieve a Smarter Scotland. We are creating a platform of opportunity, releasing the talents of all, which will in turn contribute to achieving all of our national outcomes, through lowering the scale and burden of poverty, antisocial behaviour, crime and health and other inequalities.

What is the Government's role?

Our child protection responsibilities are of paramount importance. Government and its partners will prioritise the needs of children who are at risk and living in vulnerable situations.

We are also investing in building stronger communities, reducing crime and the fear of crime, improving housing, regenerating disadvantaged neighbourhoods, addressing health inequalities and helping local communities to thrive socially and economically.

We are focusing attention and effort on ensuring that we have the right legislative and other frameworks in place to improve children's services, to reform the children's hearing system and to safeguard our children and young people. Children across Scotland will benefit from Government investment in effective universal services, including expanded early years provision and smaller class sizes.

When children need to be cared for away from their birth family, we support the delivery of consistent, secure, high-quality and nurturing care, whether that is provided by the wider family, by foster carers or in residential care. We also work with local government to build on financial and other support for foster and kinship carers.

Young people embarking on adult life need positive options. We are providing more choices and more chances for young people so that their personal circumstances do not prevent them from engaging in learning or work. We are also providing fair access to education, ensuring that children of asylum seekers are able to take-up learning opportunities.

Positive outcomes require skilled, committed professionals. We are supporting and developing the workforce and leadership of public and voluntary sector bodies so that they are well equipped for the task. We will also work to harness the resources and enthusiasm of the private sector, ensuring greater opportunity for children, young people and families at risk.

Related Strategic Objectives



Wealthier and Fairer

Children, Young People and Families