Legislation

The Children and Young People 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.

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


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


Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

Young carers are children/young people who care for family member(s) who:

– suffer from an illness
– have a disability
– have mental ill-health issues
– Suffer from substance misuse

Their caring role has an impact as they often take on practical and emotional caring responsibilities.  Under normal circumstances an adult would provide the care.

Download Getting it Right for Young Carers in Fife Strategy 2018-21

Supporting Documents and material for Getting it Right for Young Carers is available in Resources and Publications

Getting it Right for Young Carers in Fife Summary – 2018-2021


The carers (Scotland) Act 2016 came into effect on 1st April 2018.  The Act places new duties to help identify and support adult and young carers. The Act defines a young carer as anyone who is under 18 years old, or over 18 years and still at school who is or intending to provide care.

The duties include:

  • Provide information, advice and advocacy support for young carers
  • Involve and consult young carers on a variety of matters that affect them
  • Duty to offer young carer statements
  • Duty to offer support

We have completed a full consultation with young carers and they have told us that the following are most important to them:

  • Sharing responsibility
  • Keeping connected
  • Balancing time
  • Being involved
  • Emotional wellbeing

These outcomes have been used to update ‘Getting it right for young carers in Fife’ local strategy and action plan.  This provides important information for all those working with children and young people in Fife and provides guidance on how to assess young carer’s needs and identify the right level of support.

See publications:

  • Full consultation on strategy

The Act promotes a preventative and early intervention approach and complements existing GIRFEC framework. (See flow chart in publications)

  • Provide universal support in our schools via notice boards and young carer champions, flexible time table options, mobile phone policy
  • Offer to provide a young carer statement with support from an adult identified by young carer (see publications)
  • Consider additional support in relation to accessing Time for me! fund and Authorisation cards. Link in with Fife Young Carers and other third sector agencies (see publications)
  • Consider intensive support in relation to requests for assistance to other agencies including Fife Young Carers

Time for Me! Fund: This is to allow young carers to have a break from their caring responsibilities. Staff across services can support applications for up to £500 to help them follow their interests, take part in activities or events important to them.

Creative Breaks Fund: supports adult and young carers to take a short break from their caring role.  This is available via Fife Voluntary Action. See details below.

Fife Young Carers: is a registered charity which supports young carers throughout Fife. This service provides a variety of support to young carers. The type of support a young carer receives depends upon their individual circumstances. For example:

  • Day trips; group activities; and individual support
  • Young Carer’s Authorisation Card

You can find out more:

www.gov.scot – search young carers

www.young.scot/young-carers – search The (Scotland) Carers Act

www.young.scot/information/rights/carers-act

www.sharedcarescotland.org.uk – search Young Carers Scottish Alliance

www.fifeyoungcarers.co.uk – Authorisation Cards

www.fifevoluntaryaction.org.uk – Creative Breaks