Child Protection Guidance 2021

National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Part 1: The context for child protection 33 Version 1.0 September 2021 Legislation relating to Child Protection 1.153 Legislation places a variety of duties and responsibilities on services and organisations. These include duties to investigate and respond to concerns about a child’s safety and wellbeing. Legislation defines the responsibilities of local authorities to develop community planning processes with partner agencies. 1.154 This section reviews overarching legislation covering the duties placed on services, and outlines a selection of key overarching legislation. For an outline of other legislation current or impending, see Appendix C. 1.155 Practitioners should be aware of their own legal responsibilities and duties, and understand the legal framework within which they and other organisations and agencies operate. Duties to protect 1.156 The legal duty to investigate and report issues in relation to child protection is derived from two sources: the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, which provides the mandate for police officers, and the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011, sections 60-64, which set out the duties and powers of local authorities, constables, courts and other persons to refer all children who may be in need of a Compulsory Supervision Order to the Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration. Section 66 of the 2011 Act requires the Principal Reporter to consider whether such Compulsory Supervision Orders are necessary – in which case the Reporter must refer the case to the children’s hearing under section 69. Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 1.157 The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 defines the duty of a constable, and overarching policing priorities. The main purpose of policing is to improve the safety and wellbeing of persons, localities and communities in Scotland and, as such, the duty of a Constable includes the prevention and detection of crime, maintaining order, and the protection of life and property. They may take such lawful measures and make such reports to the appropriate prosecutor as may be needed to bring offenders to justice. Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 1.158 The Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 sets out the legal basis for the care and protection of children by the imposition of Compulsory Supervision Order. The Act sets out the duties and powers of local authorities, police officers and others to make a referral to the Principal Reporter in relation to a child. The Act also sets out the Principal Reporter’s powers to investigate the circumstances of any referred child in order to make a decision about whether there is an evidential basis for the child to be referred to a hearing, and about whether a hearing is necessary. The Act also governs the proceedings at children’s hearings. It sets out the circumstances in which hearings can make a Compulsory Supervision Order, which provides the basis for compulsory intervention in the child’s life, and which can include a range of different measures, depending on what is necessary in the child’s circumstances. This Act also sets out the legislation governing emergency measures for the protection of children, including child protection and child assessment orders, emergency applications to justices of the peace and the powers of a constable to remove a child to a place of safety.