The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (the 2014 Act) was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 19 February 2014, and received Royal Assent on 27 March 2014. The government website states that the legislation is a key part of the Scottish Government's strategy for making Scotland the best place in the world for children to grow up. By facilitating a shift in public services towards the early years of a child's life, and towards early intervention whenever a family or young person needs help, the legislation encourages preventative measures, rather than crises' responses. Underpinned by the Scottish Government's commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 (UNCRC), and the national approach, Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC), the 2014 Act also establishes a new legal framework within which services are to work together in support of children, young people and families.
Part 12 of the 2014 Act and the Relevant services in relation to children at risk of becoming looked after etc. (Scotland) Order 2016 came into force on 31st August 2016. More information here.
The part of the new legislation that has proved to be most controversial is the so-called 'named person' scheme. Find out what the government says about this here.