Children (Care & Justice) (Scotland) Bill
SCRA has welcomed the passing of stage one of The Children (Care and Justice) (Scotland) Bill.
The aim of the proposed legislation is to ensure children and young people receive age-appropriate justice and support.
The Bill will mean some changes to the Children’s Hearings System, most significantly raising the age of referral to the Children’s Reporter.
At the moment, 16 and 17 year-olds can be referred to the Reporter if they are already on a Compulsory Supervision Order. The change will mean that 16 and 17-year-olds not currently known to the Children’s Reporter, can be referred. This applies to care and protection and offence cases.
Welcoming the news Alistair Hogg, SCRA’s Head of Practice and Policy said: “This is a significant step forward for protecting some of Scotland’s most vulnerable and at risk children and young people.
“As Scotland aims to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and in Keeping The Promise of the Independent Care Review, the need for us to have an inclusive and welfare-based approach to the needs of all children and young people, is more critical than ever.
“Extending the age of children and young people who can be referred to the Reporter is also in line with Getting It Right for Every Child and with the Whole Systems Approach. We warmly welcome the passing of stage one of this ground-breaking Bill.”
Alistair added: “There is still work to be done to iron out the finer detail of the Bill and its implementation, particular any funding and resourcing implications. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government and our partners in the Children’s Hearings System to make the Bill a reality.”
You can read more about The Children (Care and Justice) (Scotland) on the Scottish Parliament website.