Barnardo’s Scotland welcomes commitment from Scottish Government to invest £500 million in family support services by end of current Parliament
The Programme for Government, published today, commits to the creation of a "Whole Family Wellbeing Fund" and the ambition of committing 5 per cent of community health and social care spend to family support by 2030.
Barnardo’s Scotland has family support services across the country which support children, young people and families.
Barnardo’s provides practical, financial and emotional support and our experience suggests that this is most effective if it can be at an early stage rather than when a crisis has happened.
Barnardo’s joint report with NSPCC, 'Challenges From the Frontline: Revisited', published last year, documents the decline in available services since 2013. At the same time, challenges and adversity for many families has increased, with poverty being a core issue due to ten years of austerity followed by the economic shock of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Martin Crewe, Barnardo’s Scotland director, said:
“Over the past few years there has been an increasing recognition that family support is an effective response to many of the current key priorities for children and young people - including mental health, early intervention to reduce the number of children coming into care and reducing the poverty-related education attainment gap.
“A key catalyst has been the work of The Promise team which is taking forward the recommendations from the care review and has highlighted that current activity on family support is simply not sufficient.
“Now is the time for bold action and this announcement should be seen as an investment for the future.
“When governments announce their spending plans, the numbers can sound large but the reality is that the money becomes thin when spread right across the country.
“This is a step in the right direction, but if we are to keep The Promise, we need a long-term commitment from government to take forward the work of the Family Support Delivery Group and deliver large scale investment to ensure family support is universally available.”