The Children and Young People Act

The Act

In 2014 the Scottish Parliament enacted the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. The new legislation embeds key elements of the GIRFEC approach in to law:

Assessing Wellbeing

  • The wellbeing of children and young people is at the heart of GIRFEC

Provision of a Named Person

  • One point of contact that children and families can go to for advice or support if they need it

Appropriate Information Sharing

  • Relevant information is shared to ensure access to the right help at the right time

A Child’s Plan

  • Single planning process to co-ordinate services around children and their families
  • Where a Child’s Plan is needed a Lead Professional will make sure it is managed properly and that parents and children are actively involved in any decisions.

What does this mean?

The Children’s & Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 is the most significant piece of legislation affecting children and young people since The Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

It covers a range of areas, including:

  • Rights of children and young people
  • Well-being and Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC)
  • Early learning and childcare
  • Getting It Right For Looked After Children

It also builds upon and strengthens existing legislation that affects children and young people.

The new legislation places a number of requirements and duties on both services and professionals who work with children and young people. It also places a greater emphasis on the role of children’s rights within the decision making process.

The legislation embeds the key elements of the GIRFEC approach through 3 separate parts:

Part 4 Named Person

Part 5 Child’s Plan

Part 18 Wellbeing Assessment

For more information about the Act, visit Scottish Government


Information Sharing Bill 2017

In 2016 the supreme court upheld a legal challenge to the information sharing portion of the 2014 Act. This has led to the development of a new piece of legislation to address and clarify the process of sharing personal and confidential information about an individual child or their family. The new Bill is working it way through parliament at present and is expected to receive royal accent in 2018

Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill