Minister for Keeping the Promise Natalie Don has announced the six successful locations that will become home to Scotland’s first Bairns’ Hoose test sites.

Supported by £6 million Scottish Government funding, multi-agency partnerships in Fife, North Strathclyde, Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City, Tayside and the Outer Hebrides will set up pathfinders to provide coordinated comprehensive support for children and young people in the justice system.

Services including child protection, recovery, healthcare, therapeutic support and justice will be available which will provide a blueprint for a full pilot in 2025.

Minister for Keeping the Promise Natalie Don said:

“Establishing this network is a major step forward in our aim to transform the care and justice systems for children and young people, many of whom will have been through serious trauma. The creation of these pathfinders will also help us to collectively uphold the rights of children and their families to compassionate and effective support in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

“This is a key action in Keeping the Promise and I’m pleased to have marked Care Experienced Week by meeting representatives of this vital project to hear about their vision for the future as one of the first Bairns’ Hoose Pathfinder Partnerships.”

Speaking on behalf of the Fife Partnership, Child Protection Committee, Independent Chair Dougie Dunlop said:

“All agencies involved in the Children’s Services partnership in Fife are delighted that we have been chosen as a Pathfinder site for the development of a Bairns’ Hoose facility.

“This provides Fife with an opportunity to build on the strengths of our existing partnership arrangements to further develop our approach to supporting children and their families where they may have suffered harm.

“It will bring all key services together within one child centred facility that will make it easier for children and their families to get the support they need in what can be very difficult circumstances.

“It will be a very important addition to our range of responses and will be a significant benefit to the children involved.”

Barnahus founder and Member of the United Nation’s Committee on the Rights of the Child Bragi Guðbrandsson said:

“I am delighted that Barnahus is being implemented in Scotland through the Bairns’ Hoose Pathfinder programme led by Scottish Government and working with partners across a range of sectors. This important milestone shows that Barnahus can be adapted to different contexts, cultural traditions, and legislative structures, but its core concept remains the same – to support children who have experienced trauma, in the best possible way, through multiagency responses. A significant financial contribution from the Scottish Government will help to build on the positive collaborative working between social work, police, health, third sector and other partners to ensure successful implementation and capturing learning to support a wider national rollout. I look forward to following the progress of Scotland’s Bairns’ Hoose Pathfinders closely.”

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