Child Protection Guidance 2021

National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Part 1: The context for child protection 10 Version 1.0 September 2021 1.19 The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 also applies to those aged 16 and over as ‘adult’ is defined as an individual aged 16 or over. An ‘adult at risk’ is someone who: • is unable to safeguard their own wellbeing, property, rights or other interests • is at risk of harm • and because they are affected by disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity, are more vulnerable to being harmed than adults who are not so affected 1.20 An adult is at risk of harm if another person is causing (or is likely to cause) the adult to be harmed, or the adult is engaging (or is likely to engage) in conduct which causes (or is likely to cause) self-harm. The entirety of a person’s particular circumstances can combine to make them more vulnerable to harm than others. This legislation primarily places an emphasis on support but also provides a framework for intervention if someone requires protection. A revised Code of Practice will be published in 2021. 1.21 When it comes to health procedure or treatment, the Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991 (section 2 (4)) gives medical practitioners authority to make a judgement about the level of understanding of a child: “A person under the age of 16 years shall have legal capacity to consent on his own behalf to any surgical, medical or dental procedure or treatment where, in the opinion of a qualified medical practitioner attending him, he is capable of understanding the nature and possible consequences of the procedure or treatment.” 1.22 Universal services should seek to identify pregnant women who will require additional support. There must be local assessment and support processes for high-risk pregnancies (pre-birth safeguarding – Part 4) . Definitions of parents and carers 1.23 A ‘parent’ is someone who is the genetic or adoptive mother or father of the child. This is subject to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, which sets out which persons are to be treated as the parents of a child conceived through assisted reproduction. 1.24 All mothers automatically get parental responsibilities and rights (PRRs) for their child. A father also has PRRs automatically if he is or was married to the mother at the time of the child’s conception, or subsequently. If a father is not married to the mother, he will acquire PRRs if he is registered as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate, which requires the mother’s agreement as this must have been registered jointly with the child’s mother. A father can also acquire PRRs by completing and registering a Parental Responsibilities and Rights agreement with the mother or obtaining a court order. 1.25 Same-sex couples can adopt a child together. A same-sex partner has no automatic parental responsibilities and rights for their partner’s children. If a child is conceived by donor insemination or fertility treatment on or after 6 April 2009, a same-sex partner can be the second legal parent. The second parent may hold parental responsibilities and rights if they were in married or in a civil partnership with the mother at the time of insemination/ fertility treatment, or if the person is named as the other parent on the child’s birth certificate and the birth was registered post 4 May 2006, or if the person completes and registers a Parental Responsibilities and Rights agreement with the mother. It is possible for a same sex partner to apply for parental responsibilities if none of these conditions apply. Parental responsibilities and rights.