All eligible children who are victims or witnesses to abuse or violence will give evidence and receive support via a "Bairns’ Hoose" by 2025, the Scottish Government pledged today.
That means the services they need will all be available via a coordinated approach designed to reduce the number of times children have to recount their experiences to different professionals.
Bairns’ Hoose – based on the Icelandic Barnahus model – will bring together child protection, health, justice and recovery services in a single location.
Children below the age of criminal responsibility, whose behaviour has caused harm, will also have access to the services it will provide.
Justice Secretary Keith Brown was updated on the progress towards developing a national model at a symposium today.
He commented: "We are aiming for transformational change in relation to how children in the justice system are treated, not just in relation to the taking of evidence but ensuring that they can access timely support and begin their recovery as soon as possible.
"Bringing these elements together in one setting is our goal and we must work collectively to achieve it. At present, young people who are caught up in our justice system have to go to multiple different services and locations.
"We believe that every eligible child victim or witness has the right to consistent and holistic support, access to specialist services and be afforded the opportunity to recover from their experiences and that these services should be delivered cohesively."
Mary Glasgow, chief executive of Children 1st, which is among the organisations supporting the project, added: "This vision to create a Scottish Bairns’ Hoose is rooted in what children have told us they need to recover and move on and we look forward to continuing to work with all the partners, services and agencies involved to bring it to life."