Parenting policy overview: March 2016

Pregnancy, young people and parenthood

The Scottish Government has launched its Pregnancy and Young People Strategy. This outlines actions to tackle the cycle of deprivation associated with pregnancy for some young people, and provide additional support for young parents. It aims to help young people develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to make decisions concerning pregnancy and parenthood.


New resources for implementing GIRFEC are on the Scottish Government website.

Named Person

The UK Supreme Court has heard a legal challenge to the Scottish Government's plans for the Named Person (under the GIRFEC provisions of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014). The court has been asked to decide whether the provision is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. Read the news item about the challenge.

Adoption register

From 1 April 2016, all adoption agencies in Scotland are using Scotland's Adoption Register to refer children and adopters within three months of approval. This will reduce the delays in children being matched with adoptive families and finding permanent homes. More about Scotland's Adoption Register and the regulations.


Age of criminal responsibility

The Independent Advisory Group on the Age of Criminal Responsibility issued its report on 18 March. Its main recommendation is that the age of criminal responsibility should be raised from age eight to age 12 as soon as possible. The Scottish Government consultation on whether to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 12 is open until 10 June 2016.

Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014: guidance

This consultation seeks views on a) non-statutory guidance for Part 1 (section 2) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, which covers public authority reporting duties and b) statutory guidance for Part 3 of the Act which covers arrangements for children's services planning - purpose, requirements, process, reporting and review. The consultation is open until 13 June 2016.

New reports

Relationship between poverty and child abuse and neglect

A new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation identifies and discusses evidence about the relationship between poverty and child abuse and neglect. The report is part of work to identify and understand the inequalities in child welfare intervention rates.

Shifting the curve

The Scottish Government's independent advisor on poverty, Naomi Eisenstadt, has published her report on alleviating poverty in Scotland. It makes 17 recommendations on how to achieve this.

The State of the Nation 2015: social mobility and child poverty in Great Britain

Report of progress on boosting social mobility and reducing child poverty in Great Britain. There is a chapter on each of the four nations, with a chapter on policy in Scotland, and recommendations for improvement.

Removing barriers: race, ethnicity and employment

Scottish Parliament report into the barriers which ethnic minority people face in getting work.

Policy overviews

Every quarter we provide an overview of what's happening in parenting and family policy in Scotland.