Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014: Guidance on Part 1 - Duties of Public Authorities in Relation to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and Statutory Guidance Part 3: Children's Services Planning

Closed 13 Jun 2016

Opened 21 Mar 2016

Results updated 7 Nov 2016

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 sets out fundamental reforms to the way services for children and young people are designed, delivered and reviewed. As part of the Act the Scottish Government provided guidance on Part One (section two) Children’s Rights and Part Three Children’s Services Planning. In examining this guidance the Scottish Government undertook a public consultation on these two elements, which invited views on the scope and use of the guidance, and the relationship between the two parts. This consultation analysis examined responses to both parts of the guidance.

Fifty-eight responses to the consultation were received: 55 from organisations, and 3 from individuals. Organisations included third sector (14), local government (12), local partnerships (5), public bodies (12) and health boards (7), amongst others.

On the whole both parts of the guidance were well received. A number of key themes emerged across the consultation and across the two parts of the guidance, gaps were also identified, and suggestions for improvements provided.



Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This consultation seeks your views on a) non-statutory guidance for Part 1 (section 2) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, which cover duties on each public authority named in the Act to publish a report every 3 years on steps it has taken to give better or further effect within its areas of responsibility to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 (UNCRC) requirements, and b)statutory guidance for Part 3 of the Act which covers arrangements for children's services planning – purpose, requirements, process, reporting and review.

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The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 19 February 2014, and received Royal Assent on 27 March 2014. The legislation is a key part of the Scottish Government’s strategy for making Scotland the best place to grow up. By facilitating a shift in public services towards the early years of a child’s life, and towards early intervention whenever a family of young person needs help, the legislation encourages preventative measures, rather than crises responses. Underpinned by the Scottish Government’s commitment to the UNCRC and the national children’s services improvement programme, Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC), the Act also establishes the new legal framework within which services are to work together in support of children, young people and families.

Part 1 – Rights Reporting

Part 1 (section 2) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 places a duty on a range of public bodies (including all local authorities and its relevant health boards) to report, as soon as practicable after the end of each three-year period, on the steps they have taken to better secure, or give further effect to, the requirements under Part 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

This non-statutory guidance is aimed at those with responsibilities within public authorities for implementing and delivering on the provisions of the Act. This is likely to include strategic leaders and senior planning managers in health boards, local authorities and other bodies listed in schedule 1 to the Act.

Part 3 – Children’s Services Planning

Part 3 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 relates to children’s services planning and seeks to improve outcomes for all children and young people in Scotland by ensuring that local planning and delivery of services is integrated, focused on securing quality and value through preventative approaches, and dedicated to safeguarding, supporting and promoting child wellbeing. To this end, Part 3 sets out a legal framework for children’s services’ planning, including its scope and aims.

Overall responsibility for children’s services planning will now rest clearly with a local authority and its relevant health board, with a range of other relevant local and national bodies, either consulted with, or obliged to participate, at various stages of the plans development to review.

This guidance has been developed to assist the professional and community representatives involved in children services planning, but it will also be of interest to individuals and organisations involved in the delivery of services, as these have the potential to be directly affected by the process.

While this guidance has designed to support effective implementation, it is not prescriptive about how functions should operate. Each local authority and its relevant health board, in collaboration with children’s services planning partners, may shape their own approach, in reference to their local context (within the parameters set by Part 3 of the Act).

Scottish Ministers intend to commence this Part of the Act so that a “Children’s Services Plan”, prepared in accordance to the provisions of Part 3 of the Act, must be in place by 1 April 2017. A report on how the local area has delivered on its plan must be published after the conclusion of each financial year. Please note that the Children’s Services Plan”, required by Part 3, succeeds the “Integrated Children’s Services Plan” prepared under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.


What happens next

Following results of consultation all comments will be considered and taken into account before final publication of Part 1 and Part 3 of the guidance.


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