Scotland has ducked out of radically changing children’s policy
despite powers to pass primary legislation, a children’s charity
NCH says Scotland has produced hundreds of strategies and plans,
but “major reforms and resources have not come through”.
It suggests that education has benefited from a “funding bonanza”,
but traditional social work services have been “relatively
“Social work departments are now a very weak and threatened force
in Scotland,” NCH says in a report on the impact of the first four
years of devolution on children’s policy in the UK.
By comparison, the charity praises the Welsh assembly’s
determination to do things differently. In particular, it singles
out its strong lead on children’s rights.
In Northern Ireland, although progress has been hampered by major
political disputes, NCH acknowledges the commitment to children’s
rights and child protection.
The picture painted of England is one of incoherence and mixed
results. “Progressive policies aimed at tackling child poverty are
developed in one place at the same time as ones tough on crime and
asylum seekers emerge from another,” the report says. “Children’s
policy [in England] is caught in this dichotomy.”
– United for Children? from www.nchafc.org.uk