The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
29. The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (the 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 strategy 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. 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 Act also establishes a new legal framework within which services are to work together in support of children, young people and families.
30. The Act introduces a number of important changes for looked after children and care leavers in Scotland. In summary, these are:
- Every child and young person (up to their 18th birthday) will have a Named Person (Part 4)
- Every looked after child and care leaver (up to their 18th birthday) will have a Child's Plan (Part 5)
- 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).
- Extends eligibility for aftercare assistance up to an individual's 26th birthday; new duty on local authorities to report on the death of a young person in receipt of aftercare services (Part 10).
- '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 (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 for all adoption agencies (Part 14).
31. Guidance on all of these changes will be made available by the Scottish Government. This guidance relates to Part 9 (corporate parenting) of the Act.