Delivering for families?
This report is JRF and Save the Children’s response to Best Start, Bright Futures - the Scottish Government’s second Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan.
To ensure action does not fall short of ambition, Save the Children and JRF make almost 50 recommendations.
In summary, they urge the Scottish government to address the following gaps in their delivery plan, and do so with the same urgency they brought to their pandemic response – a national mission to tackle child poverty deserves no less:
- Increase the Scottish Child Payment by above inflation in 2023/24 to ensure the interim targets are met and to help ease the cost of living for families.
- Move immediately from piloting the “no wrong door” approach and start working with partners across Scotland to deliver it now, building on existing services and good practice examples across the country.
- Refocus efforts from bringing parents closer to the labour market, to bringing the labour market closer to parents. For example, reducing the cost and increasing the availability and flexibility of both childcare provision and transport, as well as working with employers to encourage flexibility on their parts.
- Do far more to explicitly target actions set out in this Plan at the priority families, not least in areas like employability.
- Make restoring and improving mental health services a key plank of efforts to reduce poverty.