The Scottish government will next year open a £20m early intervention fund to support voluntary groups working with children and young people, it has announced.
Aileen Campbell, minister for children and young people, said the new fund came in the wake of recommendations from an independent expert group, which said the government should target investment around preventive action and early intervention.
The fund will open in March 2013, following on directly from the existing Unified Voluntary Sector Fund and Early Years Early Action funds, which will end at that time.
"The voluntary sector has a significant role to play in realising our ambition to make Scotland the best place for children and young people to grow up," said Campbell. "The new £20m fund will be designed to support that ongoing effort.
"We know that for every £1 spent in the early years, another £9 can be saved in later years through prevention. We have prioritised the early years for investment and accept the expert group’s advice to ensure future funding is well targeted."