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New issue of Insight magazine now available

The summer 2022 issue of Insight, the biannual publication exclusively for Children in Scotland members, is now available.

Created and curated for our dedicated membership, Insight provides a space for reflection, sharing knowledge and driving dialogue.

A key component of our membership benefits, the biannual publication celebrates changemakers across the sector, looks critically at some of the big issues facing children, young people and families, and promotes best practice from across the country.

Speaking about the latest issue, Jennifer Drummond, Editor of Insight said:

We are already nearly halfway through the year and we know across our network it’s been another hectic few months, balancing day-to-day demands of delivery with long-term sustainability and planning.

However, we have also observed a renewed sense of community, solidarity and commitment to partnership working to achieve common goals.

This edition of Insight pulls on key themes of inclusion and community, with many of our contributors reflecting on how we as individuals, organisations and as a sector can assess our goals and direction of travel, improve partnership working and support and challenge the status quo for some of those most marginalised across society.”

Insight is available as a benefit to all members of Children in Scotland.  The 40 page publication is available both in print and in digital formats.

Click here to find out more about joining us in membership

Non-members can subscribe to Insight for just £10 per year (2 issues).

Click here to enquire about subscribing to Insight

Insight: Issue 2

Find out more about what's inside the latest issue

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Join us in membership

Find out more about the benefits of joining our wide-ranging network

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Insight: background

More on the creation of the new publication that's part of our benefits for members

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Why our Manifesto for 2021-26 must be more about renewal than recovery

Head of Policy, Projects & Participation Amy Woodhouse on how we're developing our Manifesto for the next Scottish Parliament and the challenges of representing the children’s sector in the face of an unknowable future.

It’s mid-May and we should be far on in the writing phase of Children in Scotland’s Manifesto for the Holyrood elections in 2021.

We started thinking ahead to our new Manifesto last summer. It should outline the changes Children in Scotland thinks are necessary for the Scottish Government to make over the timescale of the next parliament to improve outcomes for children and young people living in Scotland, and their families.

It should inform our strategic plan and our policy and influencing priorities over the next five-year period. It should also reflect the priorities of our members and be something they can align themselves to. To say it’s an important document for us is something of an understatement.

We agreed that we wanted to take a really thoughtful and inclusive approach to developing the Manifesto. Over the latter part of 2019 we facilitated discussions with members through our Voices Forum, held a (Lego!) workshop at our annual conference, ran a members’ survey and held a variety of discussions with our children and young people’s advisory group Changing our World, our staff team and our Board.

We analysed our report recommendations and consultation responses from across the last five years and reflected on evidence from other important sources, including what children and young people have said. As a researcher by trade, I’ve been proud of the approach we’ve taken, particularly considering the limited capacity we have had as a team and as an organisation to do this work.

But then COVID-19 hit and we found ourselves in a very different world from the one we started this work in.  It has forced me and colleagues to stop and think: Is our work on the Manifesto up to this point irrelevant now?

Has Scotland changed so irrevocably that we have to think about everything from this point onwards in response to the impact of the coronavirus?

This truth is that it’s very difficult to say at this point. We know many families have faced considerable hardship through the lockdown period, and that as a country, we’ll experience the financial impact of this crisis for many years to come.

We also know that other previous priorities, such as the climate crisis or Brexit are still pressing but have fallen down the agenda as we respond to the real and immediate needs directly in front of us.

This Manifesto needs to look forward to a future that feels unknowable.

But, to badly paraphrase Joe Strummer, if the future is unknowable, it is also unwritten, and therefore open to the potential for positive change.

In that respect, while the current crisis we find ourselves in is unprecedented, our approach to the Manifesto remains the same. We think about the future we want for children and young people, and agree the steps that are necessary to get us there, based on the evidence of what we know works and what children and young people say themselves.

Rights, poverty, health and wellbeing, learning, equalities – COVID 19 has shone a different light on all these issues, and in many cases has exacerbated existing problems further, by increasing inequalities and challenges we face as a society. But the big issues remain largely the same – it’s the level of the problem that has increased.

This is why many people are talking renewal and not recovery, when conceptualising a post-crisis Scotland.

We don’t want to go back to where we were before, because in many ways it really wasn’t good enough.

The important thing is how we build back better.

It’s mid-May, and yes, we are a bit behind schedule on our Manifesto writing. But we’re persevering and will be reaching out to members again soon to help us shape the final calls.

We’re able to continue like this because our work builds on what we and the wider children’s sector have long known and believed is necessary to improve the lives of children and young people. It will need to reflect our current times but it should be a Manifesto for an ambitious future and not simply a crisis response.

Our next Voices Forum is scheduled as a video meeting on the morning of Thursday 25 June. Please get in touch if you are a Children in Scotland member and would like to take part.

Contact Amy at



Policy, Projects & Participation (PPP)

Amy is head of Children in Scotland's PPP department

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Members' forums

Get connected, informed and inspired as part of our network dedicated to improving children’s lives.

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Strengthening the children's sector

Read a recent blog from Karin, who leads our Learning & Events team

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Manifesto for the new UK Government

In December 2019 we published calls alongside 19 partner organisations

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Confronting the crisis

Jacqueline Cassidy discusses the third sector response to Covid-19

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To support children in the fight against Covid-19, we need your voices, knowledge and expertise

27 March 2020

In response to Covid-19, Children in Scotland is emphasising its role as a representative body for the children’s sector that can unite people to support children and families.

We are also announcing improvements to our membership offer, and urging our wider network to contribute ideas, resources and experiences as we collectively adapt to the impact of the virus.

Children in Scotland’s CEO Jackie Brock said:

“The pandemic means Children in Scotland’s core organisational qualities of representation, dialogue and convening power must be brought more strongly to the fore.

We want to concentrate on listening, amplifying what our members and wider network have to say and sharing the best possible opportunities, resources and learning to support children and families.

This is a time where we should be drawing on our best democratic instincts but also engaging in constructive challenge when decisions are made that fail the needs of children and families.

As I said in a statement last week (click to read), the response to the pandemic must be articulated and experienced as a collective effort. Preserving dignity and rights, and continuing to amplify young people’s voices, will be fundamentally important.

Strengthening skills and sharing your views

We remain totally committed to strengthening skills in the sector to improve childhoods and support families, so our learning programme is temporarily moving online.

We’ve converted many of our events into webinars and will be launching a special guide to the full range of these learning opportunities next month.

A new series of webinars led by our staff, and digital consultation about our Manifesto for the 2021-26 parliament, is also being developed.

A big part of ongoing engagement will be about using our channels to broadcast the experiences and views of our audience, building dialogue and signposting our collective strength.

Please email our communications manager Chris Small ( if you would like to share your experiences through a 25 Calls campaign response, a blog on our website or, if you are a member, in our new weekly members’ update, launching next week.

This will be a space to share informed perspectives and resources, but also ideas about what we want to take forward as learning from the experience of Covid-19.

Update on our services

Our services remain a vital part of our offer to families and communities.

The Enquire helpline is open for written enquiries and our dedicated team is ready to help any parents or carers understand how the new coronavirus laws affect the education of children with additional support needs in Scotland. The website will be updated daily as new education legislation and guidance is published.

Referrals to the My Rights, My Say Children’s Views service are being dealt with on an individual basis. Advice and information about all parts of the service are available on the My Rights, My Say website.

Our mediation service Resolve is currently in discussion with local authorities about what their needs may be and what can practicably be offered. We will provide a further update on this as soon as we can.

Thanks for being part of our network.

Remember that by working together we can help to support and represent every child, and every childhood, during this difficult time.”

Click here to follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram to find out about all our upcoming courses, get updates on our news, and hear how our wider network is responding.

Join us in membership

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Upcoming webinars

Adapting to Covid-19, we're taking forward learning opportunities online

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25 Calls campaign

Find out how we and 200+ partners think children can experience greater equality and human rights

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Find out more about Enquire, the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning

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National forum’s child policy mission strengthened by new membership

A national group which identifies children's sector-wide solutions has welcomed new members.

The Children’s Sector Strategic and Policy Forum, led by Children in Scotland, will benefit from additional expertise, representation and skills following the election of five new members.

Chaired by Jackie Brock, Chief Executive at Children in Scotland, the Forum focuses on three main workstreams:

  • Reducing Child Poverty
  • Promoting Health and Wellbeing
  • Meaningful Participation and Engagement

New members include Chief Executive Officers from Save the Children Scotland, Zero Tolerance, Home Start UK, Includem and Licketyspit Theatre Company.

The refreshed group will meet for the first time on Tuesday 14 May. Through 2019, it aims to continue its work with the Scottish Government to address strategic issues across the priority areas members have identified.

The Forum will also begin work on a new workstream looking at outcome-focused budgeting.

It will continue to play a key role in ensuring that the development and delivery of Scottish Government policy reflects the lives of children, young people and families.

Satwat Rehman, Director of One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS) and the Forum’s lead on the Reducing Child Poverty workstream, said:

“The Forum has been a fantastic place to engage with senior colleagues from across the sector, and also to have conversations about the common themes that are surfacing across organisations.

“I’m looking forward to working with new Forum members to take forward a powerful case for change that will benefit children across Scotland.”

Click here to find out more about the Forum and access briefings and minutes

Looking for more information? Contact our Head of Policy, Projects & Participation Amy Woodhouse:


Children's Sector Strategic and Policy Forum

Find out more about the work of the Forum, access the latest minutes and watch short videos.

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Voices Forum

Find out about our policy Forum for Children in Scotland members.

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