The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
8. The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (the 2014 Act) 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 ambition for making Scotland the best place in the world 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 or young person needs help, the legislation encourages preventative measures, rather than crises responses.
9. Underpinned by the Scottish Government's commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 ( UNCRC), and the national children's services improvement programme, Getting it Right for Every Child ( GIRFEC), the 2014 Act also establishes a new legal framework within which services are to work together in support of children, young people and families.
10. The 2014 Act introduces a number of important changes for looked after children and care leavers in Scotland. In summary, these are:
- 600 hours of free early learning and child care for all two year olds who are looked after or secured with friends or relatives through a Kinship Care Order (Part 6, sections 47 and 48);
- Corporate Parenting duties for certain individuals and organisations (Part 9);
- Extended eligibility for Aftercare assistance until their twenty-sixth birthday and a new duty on local authorities to report on the death of a young person in receipt of Aftercare services (Part 10);
- Introduction of Continuing Care, providing certain care leavers with the opportunity to continue with the accommodation and assistance they were provided with immediately before they ceased to be looked after and a new duty on local authorities to report on the death of a young person in receipt of Continuing Care (Part 11);
- Support for children at risk of becoming looked after (Part 12);
- Assistance for applicants and holders of a Kinship Care Order (Part 13);
- Use of Scotland's Adoption Register made a duty on all adoption agencies (Part 14); and
- Assessment of Wellbeing (Part 18, section 96).
11. Guidance on all of these provisions is being made available by the Scottish Government. All guidance, when available, should to be considered together as a whole. This guidance relates specifically to Part 11 (Continuing Care) of the 2014 Act.