John Wilson, MSP for Central Scotland, hailed the passage of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill as a landmark moment for looked after children in Scotland.
During the proceedings John Wilson MSP secured an amendment to the proposed legislation and subsequently 103 MSP’s voted in favour of the legislation in a vote on Wednesday 19th February in the Scottish Parliament.
The Bill will increase nursery provision for around 120,000 children in Scotland from this August and build on support offered to kinship carers across Scotland.
And in moves that have been welcomed by groups such as Barnardo’s Scotland, Aberlour and Who Cares? Scotland, the Bill will also give young people the right to stay in care until the age of 21.
In welcoming the move John Wilson MSP said: “The Children and Young People Bill provides measures that will improve support for children in Scotland from their early years right through to their early adulthood. From August this year, every 3, 4 and looked after 2 year old will benefit from 600 hours of free childcare, benefitting around 120,000 children. By August 2015, this will be extended to include all two year olds from the hardest pressed families, benefitting 15,400 children in their earliest years.
“The proposal to give young people the right to stay in care until the age of 21 will transform lives – as a number of children’s organisations including Barnardo’s Scotland have noted. This change, as well as the commitment to provide better support for care leavers, underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to ensure all children in Scotland are given the chance to fulfil their potential. It is a landmark moment for Scotland’s looked after children.”