Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 4: Specific support needs and concerns 142 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 4.68 A trauma-informed initial response can often significantly reduce risk and feelings of pain, isolation and despair. Depending on the immediate urgency of the situation and the capacity, mental and physical state of the person, in almost all instances it will be effective to take time to: • take the threat of harm seriously and listen calmly • recognise expressed feelings, showing warmth and empathy • raise awareness that the person has some control, options and possibilities for a way forward, one step at a time • ensure there is more than one person who can be responsive when emotional support is next urgently needed 4.69 In complex situations, preventative responses are likely to involve prompt multi-agency assessment. This may involve collaboration between children and adult services, and support for family or carers as well as for the child. Awareness of online risks and triggers may be critical for young people whose relationships and emotional fluctuations may be vectored through digital media. Resources and References – Suicide and self-harm Responding to neglect and emotional abuse 4.70 As noted in the definition in Part 1, neglect can arise in the context of systemic stressors, especially poverty. This does not imply that where there is poverty in a family there is neglect. On the contrary, when concerns are raised about neglect it is essential to ascertain the extent to which poverty is an underlying problem. Practitioners may need to consider the interaction of a range of structural stressors impacting upon parents, carers and children. Within the national practice model, the ‘My Wider World’ side of the My World Triangle prompts analysis of these factors Neglect covers a broad range of potentially co-existent physical and emotional maltreatment. This includes harm caused pre-birth for example due to parental alcohol and drug use or paternal violence. The causes and effects of neglect filter in to all the other sections in Part 4 of this Guidance. 4.71 Articles 9,19 and 39 of the UNCRC are of key relevance in relation to the duties of States Parties in relation to protection, prevention, support and recovery from neglect. The focus on preventative support in Statutory Guidance on Part 12 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 i s relevant when children are at risk of becoming looked after. The Promise states: “Where children are safe in their families and feel loved they must stay – and families must be given support together to nurture that love and overcome the difficulties which get in the way.” 4.72 Criminal offences currently termed ‘cruelty’ towards children under 16 years by persons with charge or care of, or parental responsibilities for that child are defined under section 12 of the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937. These offences are currently subject to consultation and review. These offences include the wilful ill-treatment, neglect, abandonment or exposure to this, in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health (including mental health).