National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Part 1: The context for child protection 22 Version 1.0 September 2021 Principles and Standards for Child Protection 1.99 Agencies and professional groups may have procedures and guidelines relating to their responsibilities. However, child protection is a shared responsibility. This section of the Guidance outlines inter-agency values and standards in order to promote a shared approach. Safety and rights 1.100 The Scottish Government supports implementation of UNCRC Rights and intends to incorporate UNCRC in Scots law. The Convention Rights are inter-related and inter- dependent. For example, rights to protection from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence are inextricable from consideration of best interests and rights in relation to participation, non-discrimination, survival, recovery, parental support, and support for healthy development. The UNCRC informs the GIRFEC approach (Scottish Government/ Aldgate 2013). An appended table signposts UNCRC Articles relevant to child protection. An introduction to the Convention and the articles in full text and in accessible form may be accessed at https://cypcs.org.uk/rights/uncrc/. 1.101 Public authorities should promote the upbringing of children by their families, in so far as is consistent with safeguarding and promoting the child’s welfare. Each child has a right to be treated as an individual. Every child who can form a view on matters affecting them has the right to express those views if they so wish. Those views should be given due weight in accordance with a child’s age and maturity. Any intervention by a public authority in the life of a child must be properly justified. Connections between safety and rights are further illustrated in The Promise. Children must be heard in decision-making that affects them. Children feel safe when the relationships which they need are recognised, supported and sustained. 1.102 The UNCRC (Article 23) protects the rights of disabled children and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by the UK Government in 2009, states that in order for disabled children to be able to realise the rights mentioned above, they need to be provided with disability and age-appropriate assistance. If a child has learning disabilities or needs additional support with communication, consideration must be given to the best way to involve the child. 1.103 For parents with learning disabilities or additional communication needs, consideration should be given to the best way to involve them, as detailed in Part 4 of this Guidance. Child’s experience 1.104 The child’s experience, views and needs are central within child protection processes. Talking with and listening to children means attention not only to their words, but also to their experience, needs, wishes and feelings. Listening includes attention to non-verbal communication, and to physical and behavioural responses to their care and environment. Understanding communication involves consideration of the timing and context of expressed words and feelings. 1.105 Children should be involved in decision-making in ways that are attuned to the needs and understanding of each child.