The Scottish Government has given £2m funding through Every Child, Every Chance, its Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2018-22, to Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland (CNS) - an innovative collaboration between Policy Scotland and What Works Scotland at the University of Glasgow and GCPH (Glasgow Centre for Population Health) at the Social Research Hub at Olympia in the East End of Glasgow.
The funding over the next four years will allow CNS to expand its current work across Glasgow and to set up new Children’s Neighbourhoods in rural, town and urban settings.
Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland is an innovative research and place-based approach, designed to tackle child poverty by supporting the collective impact of services and community empowerment to improve outcomes for all children in a neighbourhood.
Professor Chris Chapman, Director of Policy Scotland, said: “This commitment by the Scottish Government is testimony to all of the team’s hard work establishing a robust collaboration between the University and GCPH and dedication to building authentic relationships with the community, key stakeholders and service providers.
“We now have the support that will enable us to build on our early work by embedding and extending this approach across Glasgow and other neighbourhoods throughout Scotland."
He added: “CNS is not a quick fix. It is a long-term, sustainable way of working designed to tackle intergenerational cycles of inequality by bringing communities and services together in new and exciting ways. This requires building an evidence-base and strong and trusting relationships that can rethink roles and responsibilities to better meet the specific needs of children in particular neighbourhoods.
“In addition to developing additional Children’s Neighbourhoods in Glasgow we anticipate prototyping the model in different contexts including urban, town and rural settings to establish which elements of the model are transferable across different contexts in Scotland and which relate to specific contexts. In this sense we are developing an evidence-based framework and set of principles that can improve outcomes for children in neighbourhoods across Scotland.”
Communities Secretary Angela Constance announced the Scottish Government’s delivery plan to tackle child poverty last week.
Increasing family incomes and reducing living costs would be prioritised through the delivery plan, she said.
Actions include plans to develop a new income supplement, which would provide financial support to families who need it most. A new £12m employment support fund will help parents in work progress their careers and support unemployed parents into work.
Other initiatives include a new national entitlement for the School Clothing Grant, to help with the costs of uniforms and sports kits, and new support for after-school and holiday childcare, helping parents work more flexibly and increase their incomes.
The billionaire philanthropist Sir Ton Hunter has pledged £2.5m – with the Scottish Government providing a further £5m – to make up a £7.5m Innovation Fund.
The delivery plan is a key feature of the Child Poverty Act and will be backed by a range of investment, including a £50 million Tackling Child Poverty Fund.