Statistics show that over one in four children in North Ayrshire live in poverty – despite positive progress being made.

This is higher than Scotland’s national average of 20 per cent, as 28 per cent of children in North Ayrshire are currently living in poverty.

However, improvements have been made in the area as the number of Child Protection Orders being applied for has decreased by 72 per cent over the past year while the number of child protection concerns received by North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership (NAHSCP) has decreased by 15 per cent.

Councillor Margaret Johnson, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “While much progress has been made by North Ayrshire Council in its ongoing commitment to eradicating poverty, North Ayrshire is still ranked the fifth most deprived council area in Scotland.

“We have an ageing population, which in itself increases demands on our social work services, and it remains to be seen what impact the current cost of living crisis will have on our communities, particularly over this coming winter.

“These positive examples of the impact social work services are having in improving the lives of North Ayrshire residents are down to the hard work and commitment of our staff, and we will continue to ensure that we work in a way that puts our residents at the centre of their care.”

The number of children and young people being newly accommodated has decreased by 14 as the number of children needing alternative care hit its lowest since data began recording in 2013-14.

NAHSCP’s Rosemount Crisis Intervention Team has worked to keep 96% of young people with their families.

North Ayrshire is trying to implement a 10-year programme called The Promise which aims to tackle the inequality experienced by children and young people who have experience within the care system.

The programme also aims to retain service users within the Drug Treatment and Testing Order team after recruiting two Recovery Development Workers with lived experience.