The shape of families in Scotland is changing - or so people say. What is the reality? This PAS seminar launched the evidence response, which it commissioned from the Evidence Request Bank[1], to the question 'How have family households in Scotland changed over 2001-2011?'

The evidence response aims to give service providers up-to-date and accurate information about family households in Scotland which can be used to ensure that children and families are receiving the services and support they need now and in the future.

Attended by over 60 people including practitioners, policy makers and others, mostly from the voluntary sector, the seminar provided the opportunity for participants to hear about the main findings of the evidence response; respond to the findings; and ask questions about and discuss the implications of these.  Aileen Campbell, MSP, Minister for Children and Young People, restated the Scottish Government's commitment to supporting families and children, and a panel comprising Bill Alexander, Highland Council; Paul Bradshaw, Growing Up in Scotland; Marion Davis, One Parent Families Scotland; Stella Gibson, the Spark gave their preliminary responses to the evidence review.

This report summarises the main points from presentations, panel responses and participant discussions.  It complements the full report from the Evidence Request Bank and the associated summary report.

PAS hopes that the evidence review will help to inform government, NHS boards, local authorities, voluntary organisations and others about trends, what we still need to know and also the gaps in the evidence.  This will help determine how services need to adapt and develop to make sure that children and families receive the services and support they need.

[1] The Evidence Request Bank Development Project is a partnership of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, West Lothian Council, Parenting across Scotland, Children in Scotland, and the Scottish Government. It is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, with additional funding from the Scottish Government and Parenting across Scotland