I AM proud that this Scottish Government developed the ground-breaking Children and Young People Act, which was passed by the Scottish Parliament unanimously in 2014.

Its measures anchor our ambition to make Scotland the best place to grow up.

I am proud because at the heart of this Act is a commitment to improve the lives of all our children and young people. Children only have one chance at childhood so it is vital we all – parents, professionals and policy makers – do our very best to make their childhoods the best they can possibly be.

The getting-it-right-for-every-child approach and named person idea were developed following a successful pilot programme in the Highlands.

The named person service was created in response to families’ needs. Parents don’t want to have to tell their stories over and over again to a crowd of services, they just want appropriate support if and when they need it.

Any one of us might need support with parenting at one time or another. We hear a lot about “vulnerable children and families”, as though they walk around with signs on their heads.

We can’t predict which children and young people might, at some point in their lives, need support from services.

We can’t predict which mum might suffer post-natal depression, which family might suffer bereavement. This new approach allows professionals to help tackle the small, persistent issues in a child’s life at an early stage, before they grow into bigger problems.

It also puts the best interests and needs of the child at the heart of decision making; it encourages professionals to work with, not against children, young people and parents, and to work together in the best interests of the child.

This means resources are directed to where they are needed so children and parents get help at the earliest possible stage. The named person will help children, parents and the services that support them to work in partnership.

It is already operating, in some form, successfully in many areas of Scotland. Parenting Across Scotland, Aberlour, Barnardo’s Scotland, Children 1st and One Parent Families Scotland are just some of the organisations who have backed the legislation.

They back it because they know the named person does not replace parents or professionals but helps make links between them if and when they need to be made. The named person isn’t someone new or unknown – it is a person who is already working with the child and family.

The Court of Session has twice ruled in favour of this legislation. They found the named person plan does not contravene EU law and will have no effect on the legal, moral or social relationships in a family.

The getting-it-right-for-every-child approach has been shaped over the last ten years in close partnership with professionals and parents. It has gained support across political parties and children’s organisations.

I am confident this legislation will help more children and families get the right support at the right time, and ultimately ensure that more children get a better start in life.

Aileen Campbell is Minister for Children