Kirsty is a fictional child. She was born into one of Scotland's most deprived communities the day the current crop of MSPs took their seats in the Scottish Parliament for the new session in 2016. She represents a conduit through which Holyrood magazine can examine the parliament's progress in tackling poverty, early intervention, and children's rights – as well as the implementation gap between policy ambition and the reality for children growing up in poverty in Scotland.
Since Kirsty's third birthday, it was decided that parts of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 will not now come into force, although the Scottish Government remains committed to GIRFEC. There has also been the decision to fast-track the Scottish Child Payment to this year, and the ongoing expansion of funded early-years provision that will be implemented across the country by August 2020.
But despite policy interventions, there remains significant challenges for children growing up in poverty. Kirsty is one of the 89% of 'vulnerable twos' who did not take up the free hours of nursery education. And by 2023-24, the number of children living in relative poverty like Kirsty is set to rise to 34.5%.
Join us on 12th May as we examine what recent and upcoming policy changes mean for the support and services you provide to children in Scotland.
09:30 Registration and Refreshments
09:55 Welcome from the Chair
Session 1: Policy Landscape on Kirsty's Fourth Birthday
- Practical guidance to support and sustain the GIRFEC approach under existing legislation
- Lifting 30,000 children out of poverty – Scottish Child Payment
- Giving all children the best start in life by expanding funded early-years provision
10:00 Keynote Address
10:15 Questions and Discussion
10:30 Claire Telfer, Head of Scotland, Save the Children
10:50 Senior Speaker, Social Work
11:10 Questions and Discussion
11:20 Refreshments and Networking
Session 2: The Reality for Children Living in Poverty
- Poor take-up and challenges around signposting services
- Embedding a rights-based approach in service delivery
- Tackling the poverty-related attainment gap
11:40 Senior Speaker, Education
12:00 Can Scotland be Brave? Taking a rights-based approach in health and education
Margo Mackay, Associate, Talking Mats
12:20 Questions and Discussion
12:30 Lunch and Networking
Session 3: Getting It Right For Kirsty – Next Steps
- Taking a whole system approach to transformational change in children's services
- Co-designed approach that puts children's voices at the centre
- Changing the 'poor outlook' for Kirsty
13:15 Interactive Discussions
Delegates will be divided into small groups to discuss what can be learned from the morning presentations for your own work and organisation. This is an opportunity for you to raise the issues that matter to you. The discussions will be guided by a set worksheet and responses will be anonymised and forwarded to the Scottish Government.
14:00 Panel Discussion
Sue Palmer, Independent Writer and Education Consultant, and Chair, Upstart Scotland
14:50 Chair's Closing Remarks
15:00 Close of Event
Please note that all speakers and the agenda are subject to change without notice.
Book now or email or call Craig on 0131 2851688
If you have an inspiring case study or a project that you think is relevant, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are always on the lookout for new speakers.
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