Public Law

As part of the Scottish Government’s most recent legislative programme (see here for my post on the programme), the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill was introduced to put in place a coherent statutory framework for the planning and delivery of services provided to children and young people.

The Bill puts into statute some elements of the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) programme (a wide ranging change programme in children’s services). GIRFEC grew out of concerns that existing service provision needed to be better integrated, more efficient and better focused on the child.

I’ve outlined some of the new provisions to be introduced through the Bill:

  • From April 2015, teenagers in residential, foster or kinship care who turn 16 will be entitled to remain looked after until the age of 21.
  • Teenagers leaving care aged 16 will become immediately eligible for aftercare.
  • The right to aftercare support available to all care leavers is to be extended to those aged up to 26.

The Bill is currently at Stage 2 of the Scottish legislative process – the Education and Culture Committee are considering the Bill having previously taken evidence on it. See here for links to the previous reports on the Bill, and see here for some recent press coverage.

If passed, the Bill will impact on the services offered to children and young people by local authorities, and other organisations involved in the provision of care. In particular, additional costs will likely be incurred in extending the care services offered.

If you’d like to discuss the potential impact of the Bill, please feel free to get in touch.