Scottish Government has announced a new £500 million fund to help support families stay together, reducing the number of children in care.
Part of the latest Programme for Government, the Whole Family Wellbeing Fund aims to help families to overcome challenges before they reach crisis point, and to significantly reduce the number of children and young people in care by 2030. The fund will provide support across a range of areas, including:
- child and adolescent mental health
- child poverty
- alcohol and drugs use
- educational attainment
In 2020, the Scottish Government made a commitment to thousands of care-experienced children and adults to Keep The Promise. This included “where children are safe in their families and feel loved they must stay – and families must be given support together to nurture that love and overcome the difficulties which get in the way”.
The new Programme for Government also announced that, as part of the work to Keep The Promise, young people who leave care will be able to access a new Care Experience Grant. The £200 per year grant for those aged 16 – 26 years old, backed by annual investment of up to £10 million, recognises the financial disadvantages often experienced by those in care, and those who are care-experienced.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“We want to create a Scotland where more children will only know care, compassion and love, and not a “care system”.
“The Whole Family Wellbeing Fund, backed by at least £500 million over this Parliamentary term, will help us to make this a reality and prevent families reaching crisis point.
“Our ambition is that, from 2030, we will be investing at least 5% of all community-based health and social care spend in preventative whole family support measures that will enable us to continue to Keep The Promise.
“This fund, focused on prevention, will enable the building of universal, holistic support services, available in communities across Scotland, giving families access to the help they need, where and when they need it.”
Chair of The Promise Scotland, Fiona Duncan, said:
“The Whole Family Wellbeing Fund is welcome and The Promise Scotland looks forward to working with the Scottish Government and others to ensure it leads to more children and young people staying together with their families, wherever it is safe for them to do so, to feel loved, and to receive the help and support they need, when they need it.
“The Promise Scotland continues to work to ensure Scotland Keeps the Promise and work is on track to deliver the first part of the transformative route map by 2024. This funding is a step in the right direction towards ensuring we all Keep the Promise.”
For further information, please visit the Scottish Government website.