Children's policy has emerged from the shadows of family and education policy over the last decade throughout the UK. The decade has also seen political and policy transformation, with the change of government from Conservatives to New Labour in 1997 and the latter's delivery on its promise of devolved administrations. Devolution has accompanied claims and attempts to move from ‘government to governance’, to recognise and support partnerships and encourage greater civic engagement.
Scottish children's policy is a prism to review key questions of devolution and its impact on policy change. The article traces and considers policy trends, to conclude that distinctive government structures have interacted with other influences to shape change, allowing more and ‘new’ room for community interests, political parties and distinctive policies.