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 Perth City Local Family Information Directory.
There are family clubs run throughout the city; 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.
A 2015 community learning and development questionnaire among partners operating in the area highlighted a number of perceived gaps in service provision in Perth, including greater support required for parents (particularly engagement with fathers), a need for more children’s’ groups, activities for under 12s, and weekend activities.
Perth City has a teenage pregnancy rate of 51.5 per 1,000 females aged 15-19. This is higher than in Perth and Kinross generally, although there has been a decline in recent years. It is worth noting that many young families without permanent accommodation are often provided with accommodation in the Perth. These families are often some of the most vulnerable, meaning that their placement in the city can add to the number of young mothers living there.
There were 292 Police Child Concern Reports in 2014, 25% of all children in Perth and Kinross, who are on the Child Protection Register, live in Letham and currently there are 56 families working voluntarily with Children and Family Services. Letham does not compare favourably with the rest of Perth and Kinross across a wide range of health and well-being indicators.
There are services that support and inform for young people located @Scott Street, at the heart of the City. The Scott Street team can be accessed directly through the City Base, or by contacting local Youth Workers.
Perth & District YMCA delivers youth work support and projects in Perth City aimed at creating and building long lasting relationships.
Local churches and community centres run youth groups in different parts of the City. North Muirton Community Flat, which has been designated for use by the community, is owned by Caledonian Housing Association.
The Glenearn Community Campus is used by a number of different community groups including the Moncrieffe & Craigie Youth Group.
Youth with disabilities are supported through Fairview School which has a dedicated link worker. Inchview Primary has a support unit for children with autism.
There are a number of youth programmes and opportunities for children including accredited awards.
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.