Call on the Scottish Government to take action so that no child in distress has to wait for help and support.

Thousands of children across Scotland are on a waiting list for the help and support they need.

This Christmas, let’s make Santa’s list the only list children care about.

Sign the petition to the Scottish Government to say that you believe that every child should get the help they need as soon as they need it.

The distress and anxiety caused by coronavirus is having a lasting impact on the wellbeing of children and families. Children and their parents have told us they have felt cut off from family and friends, afraid that somebody they love will get ill or die, and continually worried about what may happen next. For children, the pandemic has lasted for a significant proportion of their lives.

Children feel sad, have missed their friends and their loved ones, and  are often struggling with their emotions. Families tell us that sometimes they need help to cope with impacts of coronavirus but don’t know where to turn for the support they need.

Specialist services often had long waiting lists for a first appointment before the pandemic and now the wait for help can be as long as a year. 


The number of children waiting more than a year for specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health support trebled between 2020 and 2021. (Source: Audit Scotland)


Scotland’s children and young people need bold and decisive action from the Scottish Government. When children in distress have to wait for support, they can quickly reach crisis.

Early help is vital to stop children reaching breaking point.

Every child in Scotland should be able to access early help and support, in their local community, in the way the need and want, without being on a waiting list.

With the right early help and support, most children can address how they are feeling, recover from distressing experiences, and build resilience which supports their wellbeing as they grow. When a child’s whole family get support which builds on their strengths, is kind and compassionate, and which addresses their worries, children will thrive.

You can join Children 1st in calling on the Scottish Government to meet the aspiration for universal family support set out in The Promise and to fulfil its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Scottish Government has said it will increase funding for family wellbeing and community mental health – sign the petition to tell the Government that this investment must support the kind of early help children and families say they need.

Take action today so that no child in distress has to wait on a list for early help and support.