Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 4: Specific support needs and concerns 132 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 Introduction 4.1 Part 2B described common themes in multi-agency assessment. Part 3 defined steps in child protection. Part 4 covers specific areas of concern; and also factors that may intersect with these concerns and so may require specific attention and support. There are common threads connecting practice. The GIRFEC approach encourages consideration of the child’s experience and perspective, within and beyond the family. The Promise encourages a focus on support for those relationships that are key to emotional safety and resilience. “When children talk about wanting to be safe, they talk about having relationships that are real, loving and consistent.” Poverty 4.2 Article 27.3 of the UNCRC requires public authorities to assist parents and others responsible for the child as necessary in providing the conditions necessary for the child’s development. The Scottish Government is committed to tackling child poverty as part of a wider strategy for tackling poverty and inequality across Scotland ( policies/poverty-and-social-justice/child-poverty/) . 4.3 Most families experiencing poverty provide safe and loving homes and practitioners should be careful not to stigmatise families through highlighting the impact of poverty in families. However, poverty can cause as well as accelerate neglect and the risk of other harms. Consideration of the impact of poverty on children is a core consideration in child protection assessment and family support. Recent research indicates the disproportionate number of children placed apart from their families within the poorest neighbourhoods in Scotland. There is a growing interest in undertaking Social Needs Screening (also known as Poverty Screening) into the response of all disciplines who encounter children in need of support (Alderman, 2018; Bhavna Singichetti, 2019; Bywaters et al., 2017). The anti- poverty practice framework for social work in Northern Ireland and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) anti-poverty practice guide for social work (2019) have been strongly influenced by this research. 4.4 Intersection. Poverty intersects with other stressors upon families, including disability, mental health problems, ill health, poor housing, barriers to employment, poor literacy skills, learning disabilities and racial discrimination. As noted in The Promise, “Poverty is a mediating factor among various factors that increase the risk of child abuse and neglect” (p17). Practitioners need to be alert to the corrosive impact of poverty upon the physical and mental wellbeing of parents, carers, children and young people. Community-level poverty can also limit the capacity for members of the community to provide informal social support. Poverty is frequently entrenched across generations and severely limits children’s life chances and prospects. There are interactions between poverty and other challenges in dispersed Scottish rural and island communities that are of specific concern within social work (Turbett 2019). The emotional and economic isolation of rural victims of domestic abuse has been highlighted by English research (NRCN 2019). Poverty alone must never be a reason for removal of children from the care of their family. 4.5 Local authorities’ safeguarding of children encompasses support for migrant families who have no recourse to public funds. These families face a high risk of poverty and destitution. Guidance on migrant rights and entitlements can be found at http://www. support-introduction.