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Supporting the Third Sector Project

Building on the success of the National Third Sector GIRFEC (NTSG) Project, Children in Scotland continues its commitment to support the Third Sector to be a strong partner in Children's Services Planning, as in Part 3 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, through the Supporting the Third Sector (STTS) Project. STTS was originally established under the name The National Third Sector GIRFEC (Getting it Right for Every Child) Project

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What is the project trying to achieve?

Our ambition is that the Third Sector is fully integrated with Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) and contributes to the strategic planning of local children and family services as equal partners. This means:

  • Increased local third sector engagement in planning, development and budgeting of services
  • The third sector as an equal and valued partner in improving children’s outcomes at national and local level
  • Strengthened local support structures and clear paths for effective engagement with third sector locally
  • Local and community-based third sector voices are amplified within national policy development
  • Stronger impact of the third sector across all areas of national and local policy development as a result of increased capacity and capability of Third Sector Interfaces.

Click here to learn more about Third Sector Interfaces

How are we going to achieve these aims?

We plan to achieve these aims by:

  • Building capacity of the workforce
  • Facilitating the national TSI Children’s Services Network
  • Keeping organisations informed of relevant policies and legislations
  • Providing tailored support to local Children’s Services Forums
  • Co-ordinating opportunities for third sector and statutory partners to network, develop collaborative working and influence policies
  • Supporting local third sector organisations and grassroot community groups to have a voice at national level. Here is an example of how the third sector is involved in the partnership responding to COVID-19.
  • Supporting the third sector and partners to include children and young people’s voices at strategic planning

These are only some examples of our activities. Please contact us for further details or to discuss specific work.

Contact the team:

Click here to read STTS' Annual Report 2021

Project Background

STTS was originally established under the name The National Third Sector GIRFEC (Getting it Right for Every Child) Project in 2013 by then Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell. It was set up to support the third sector to be a strong partner in Children's Services Planning and the delivery of the GIRFEC policy within the Children & Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. In April 2018, the project entered a new phase and became part of Children in Scotland.

The project was set up as a Public Social Partnership (PSP) between Barnardo’s Scotland, Voluntary Action Scotland (VAS), and Improvement Service. The project also received support from other third sector partners including the Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS). During the first three years, the project supported nine CPP areas to review the third sector’s involvement in their local children’s services planning and delivery. The project also worked in these nine areas to develop action plans to strengthen the role of the third sector.

In 2016/17, the project was awarded an extension. During the period of extension, the project focused on supporting the implementation of Part 3 (Children’s Services Planning) and Parts 4, 5 and 18 (GIRFEC) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Following the success of the project, a project proposal for a new phase – based on the evolving needs identified by the project stakeholders – was submitted to the Scottish Government. A new contract was granted to Children in Scotland to host the NTSG project from April 2018.


Find out more about the policies centred around children and young people in Scotland

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Read consultations submitted by Children in Scotland and Supporting the Third Sector Project's team.

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Who we work with

Find out more about who STTS partners with.

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Explore resources to support professional learning and the practical implementation of young people's participation

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STTS Annual Report 2021-2022

This report covers the period from 1st April 2021 – 31st March 2022.

Click here to download and read