Put children first

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As A coalition whose members deliver specialist care and education services for children and young people with complex needs, we echo the responses from Children in Scotland and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations to the Smith Commission on the need for the further devolution of powers relating to welfare.

We believe that in order for Scotland to truly be the “best place in the world for children and young people to grow up”, as desired by the Scottish Government, the devolution of welfare, excluding pensions, is essential. Only then will we be able to properly support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society. Such a move would also enable Scotland to adopt a more co-ordinated approach in linking welfare to such interdependent areas as health and social care, housing, employment and skills.

A piecemeal benefit transfer will serve only to create more alignment difficulties as many benefits are interrelated. For example, Carers Allowance interacts with a number of benefits including Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance.

With the Smith Commission we have a clear opportunity to ensure that the ambition of making our country the best for children and young people to grow up becomes a reality.

The Scottish Children’s 
Services Coalition, comprising:

Sophie Pilgrim, director, Kindred Scotland

Sophie Dow, founder, Mindroom

Tom McGhee, managing director, Spark of Genius

Duncan Dunlop, chief executive, Who Cares? 

Stuart Jacob, director, Falkland House School

Niall Kelly, managing director, Young Foundations