Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 4: Specific support needs and concerns 178 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 4.269 In some situations ‘concurrent planning’ is appropriate. This involves intensive but time- limited work with parent(s) towards the return of their child, within a timescale that is in the child’s interests; while holding the possibility that the temporary placement might offer permanent care if a safe return to the care of parents cannot be achieved (CORAM 2013). 4.270 The revised Universal Health Visitor Pathway guidance offers a consistent approach to the heath visitor role and services across Scotland. It presents a core home visiting programme as a minimum standard to be offered to all families with children 5 years of age and under. The refreshed Health Visitor role has a strong focus on prevention and early intervention: Universal Health Visiting Pathway in Scotland: pre-birth to pre-school - ( Good outcomes are optimised by assessment of the individual circumstances and supports required. A holistic approach that recognises strengths in the person and their relationships is advised. Family group decision-making can be a helpful vehicle in some circumstances. Evidence-based programmes can considerably increase successful outcomes. For example, the Family Nurse Partnership was first implemented in NHS Lothian in 2010 and has since been expanded across the country. 4.271 Permanent, loving, nurturing relationships are what matter most to children. The optimal route to permanence depends on the needs and circumstances of the child. Permanence might be achieved through: • the child remaining within or returning to the family, (with or after support) • by kinship carers obtaining a Section 11 Order via the courts; or • by means of adoption orders being granted by the court in favour of an adoptive parent 4.272 The first stage of Scottish research on permanence planning (Biehal et al., 2019) underline that the pre-birth period is critical in terms of assessment and decision-making. 4.273 Two practice insights on this topic have been drafted to illustrate and explain key practice considerations, offer a resource, prompt reflection and signpost selected sources. They can be found in the Practice Insights supporting document alongside this Guidance. Resources and References – Pre-birth assessment and support Children who are looked after away from home 4.274 Article 9 of the UNCRC outlines general requirements for public authorities when children are lawfully separated from his or her parents in his/her best interests. 4.275 Child protection for children looked after away from home involves integration of some of the general features of good assessment and planning. It also involves clearly defined processes when child protection concerns, such as allegations against carers, arise in placement. 4.276 Child protection concerns relating to unaccompanied children should be addressed by the same inter-agency processes as for a UK national. 4.277 A looked after child may be placed with kinship carers, with foster carers, prospective adopters, a residential school setting, or in residential care in a children’s house.