CCPS wants every candidate to commit to improving the lives and life chances of children
Leading charities have urged Scotland’s incoming intake of new councillors to protect the country’s most vulnerable children.
More than 25 children's charities are calling on candidates in the local government elections in May to publicly pledge support for families at risk.
The Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS) want every candidate to commit to improving the lives and life chances of 200,000 Scots children growing up in poverty.
Experts warn childhood deprivation and related issues, like poor mental health and addiction, will condemn many young Scots to lives of ill-health and limited opportunities.
The charities' #plan4children campaign urges council candidates to sign a pledge, committing to work in partnership to plan and deliver vital services.
CCPS represents more than 25 leading charities providing children’s services, supporting more than 150,000 children and delivering public services worth around £150 million.
Director Annie Gunner Logan said: “Scotland's children might not have a vote in the council elections but the decisions taken by councils can have a profound impact on their lives.
“There are few issues more important to our communities than improving the lives and futures of children growing up there.
“Councillors active in their wards will very quickly gain real insight into the importance of proper support for children.
“Our campaign is a call for partnership for councils to work with charities and voluntary organisations to plan and deliver strategies that will provide the support that is crucial to many families.
“Early intervention, in particular, is a way of ensuring problems do not become crises and, in the long-run, can deliver more effective outcomes and better value for money.”
SallyAnn Kelly, chief executive of children's charity Aberlour, chairs the children's committee of the CCPS, and urged candidates to back the campaign.
She said: “An election is a time of change in our local government when it is more important than ever to focus on maintaining the consistency and continuity of these vital services.
“Our charities want to create the very best support services for Scotland's children, deliver the most effective help, put in place the most critical support, and deliver the best value for money.
“Most simply, as our campaign says, we want to #plan4children.”
The charities have moved to win the support of candidates standing in the local government elections weeks after the government pledged to reduce and eventually eradicate child poverty.
Equalities secretary Angela Constance unveiled a child poverty bill introducing ambitious targets and imposing a legal duty on local authorities and health boards to publish their progress.
She said: "We're absolutely committed to tackling the deep-rooted causes of child poverty, addressing the needs of those living in poverty today and preventing future generations from growing up in these circumstances."