39 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 Part 2A: Roles and responsibilities for child protection This section outlines collective and single-agency responsibilities. It highlights key roles and wider planning links, and concludes with considerations for all services and practitioners. Collective Responsibilities for Child Protection 2.1 All agencies have a responsibility to recognise and actively consider potential risks to a child, irrespective of whether the child is the main focus of their involvement. There must be consideration of the needs, rights and mutual significance of siblings in any process that has a focus on a single child. (https://www.gov.scot/publications/staying-together- connected-getting-right-sisters-brothers-national-practice-guidance/) 2.2 Effective partnerships between organisations, professional bodies and the public are more likely if key roles and responsibilities are well defined and understood. 2.3 This section therefore outlines collective responsibilities for child protection. This encompasses Chief Officers, Child Protection Committees, local communities and the general public. 2.4 Effectiveness and continual improvement within child protection services relies upon: • collaborative leadership from chief officers and senior managers • planned workforce development • communication, information and partnership with communities • communication and commitment to partnership with families 2.5 Concerns about a child at risk of significant harm may come from family, friends, neighbours, carers or any other source in the community. Children may disclose abuse directly or express anxieties about their treatment indirectly. 2.6 Agencies working with children and families must provide clear and relevant information about how they work together with families and the community to promote the wellbeing and safety of children. This includes information about the ways in which early help can be provided to avoid escalating need and risk, and about relevant protective processes when this becomes appropriate. 2.7 Relevant information includes advice about: • what to do if a member of the public has concerns about a child • sharing of information between core agencies, as defined in Part 3 of this Guidance, if there is concern about risk of harm to a child (as necessary, in a manner that is proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure) • next steps and follow-up when concerns are reported • the role and responsibilities of named persons or of those professionals in universal services who hold a similar role Leadership in child protection: Chief Officer’s Groups and Child Protection Committees 2.8 The roles, responsibilities and accountability of Chief Officers and Child Protection Committees have been reviewed and revised. They are outlined in the document entitled Protecting Children and Young People: Child Protection Committee and Chief Officer Responsibilities (Scottish Government, 2019).