Children and Young People Bill: Stage 3 briefings

Date: 18th February 2014
Category: Family Environment and Alternative Care, Education, Leisure and Cultural Activities, Civil Rights and Freedoms, Basic Health and Welfare

A number of briefings have been produced ahead of the Children and Young People Bill Stage 3 Debate, which will commence on Wednesday 19 February.

Together has produced a child rights briefing which outlines the child rights specific amendments to the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill at Stage 3 that are supported by Together and its members. Overall, Together welcomes the general principles of the Bill and supports the Scottish Government's ambition to 'make rights real'. However, Together believes the legal provisions behind the Bill still fall short of ensuring the policy intentions are fully met.

Together has also produced a briefing specifically for Amendment 116, which is in the name of Jean Urquhart. It would require Ministers to establish a group ("the Body") to examine the desirability of incorporating the UNCRC into legislation, within one year of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill receiving Royal Assent. The briefing supports Amendment 116 and states that passing this Amendment would be a fitting ending to the Children and Young People Bill, leaving the final focus on the rights of children.

Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People (SCCYP) has circulated a briefing regarding a number of amendments, to urge MSPs to take the remaining opportunities to make a difference at Stage 3, and to engage in the debate about the legal protection of children's rights in Scotland beyond this Bill.

Cl@n childlaw has produced a briefing on the Information Sharing Provisions in the Bill (Sections 26, 28 and 38 and Stage 3 Amendments 165-171). It focuses on the amendments proposed by Liam McArthur MSP regarding informed consent and the balance between the need to share confidential information and the child's right to privacy.

Cl@n childlaw has also produced a briefing on sibling contact for looked after children (amendment 177).

The Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS) has produced a briefing for the Stage 3 debate, which is restricted to the areas of the Bill most relevant to looked after children and care leavers. The briefing notes that significant amendments have been tabled by MSPs at Stage 3, developed in collaboration with the children's sector, and CELCIS urge MSPs to give a number of them consideration.

WAVE Trust has produced a briefing on behalf of the 'Putting the Baby IN the Bathwater' coalition. The briefing outlines the coalition's key requests to MSPs at Stage 3 and notes that its signatories are keen to help the Children and Young People Bill live up to its potential.

The Stage 3 debate will be taking place at the Scottish Parliament from 2:00pm on Wednesday 19th February 2014 and will be available to watch live online.