Giving children the best start in life is a key partnership objective, as a child’s upbringing is a key factor in relation to their outcomes later in life. There are many community groups and services in Perth which aim to support children and families. Most can be found in the Highland Perthshire Local Family Information Directory.
There are family clubs run throughout the locality; these support parents to engage with their children. They also assist with making an initial engagement with services, and through them families can also be sign-posted to other organisations. Family Clubs also assist families to feel connected to their community, and help parents to attain transferable skills which they can then use with their children in the home.
Highland and Strathtay has a teenage pregnancy rate of 25.0 per 1,000 females aged 15-19. This is lower than in Perth and Kinross generally, although there has been a decline in recent years.
The Fairness Commission found that around 1 in 5 children in P&K live in poverty. The majority of these children live in a family where at least one adult works. They also found that 1 in 5 children in P&K do not meet their development milestones at their 27-30 month review. This gap in attainment widens as children get older. A key issue in P&K is that troubled families are engaged with by many different services, which can cause confusion.
Later in life, the commission found that a wide range of learning opportunities are available; however these lack flexibility in the choice of vocational and academic subjects. Other concerns included the cost of the school day; the strain associated with holiday periods; and equal access to work experience. The commission also identified Looked after Children as a specific group whose needs could be better met, particularly with regard to transition stages in life.