Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 2A: Roles and responsibilities for child protection 59 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 Social work justice services 2.135 Local authorities’ social work justice services have a critical role in protecting children from harm, both directly and indirectly. The overarching aims are to maintain community safety through protecting the public from serious harm, to hold individuals accountable for their actions in order to reduce their risk of re-offending, and to support individuals’ efforts to desist from offending by promoting health, wellbeing and social inclusion. Social work justice services have responsibilities for the supervision and management of risk relating to adults who have committed high-risk offences, including those against children. They must be aware of risks to children in cases of domestic abuse and parental alcohol and drug use, and must respond proportionately. 2.136 Some parents live with multiple disadvantages, including homelessness, alcohol and drug use, mental ill health, poverty, and involvement with offending. The intersection of risks for some family members can have a direct impact on the children within that family (Hard Edges Scotland, 2019) . It is also estimated that around 20,000-27,000 children experience the imprisonment of a parent each year in Scotland. No official data is collected on this group. This can result in them being overlooked in policy and practice (Deacon 2019). Adult health and social care services 2.137 Adult support services include a wide range of specialist provisions for different care groups. Some of these are described below; however, the same duties and responsibilities apply to all. Adult services are now largely delivered through multi-disciplinary services, and include a variety of commissioned and non-commissioned services which are delivered in partnership with the Third Sector and independent sector. Staff in adult health and social care services must be aware of the circumstances in which an adult’s additional needs impinge on children’s needs and safety. They may play a role in a child’s plan to reduce identified risks. Adult services, along with colleagues in children and families services, should ensure that there is strong transitional planning for young people accessing their services (see section on transition planning). This should form part of the single planning process for that young person. Learning disability services 2.138 Learning disability services are largely community-based and delivered by multi- disciplinary teams including social workers. Learning disability practitioners working with adults with learning disabilities should always be aware of how this might impact on any children in the family, and should give early consideration to the support that parents may need. Where they have any concerns that a child may be at risk of significant harm, they should liaise with colleagues in children’s services in line with local child protection procedures. Learning disability practitioners should take account of any wider factors that may affect the family’s ability to manage and parent effectively, including strengths within the family in relation to the child’s needs. Learning disability practitioners have a potential key role in both adult and child support and protection. Third Sector 2.139 The Third Sector is made up of various types of organisation with certain characteristics in common. They are non-governmental, value-driven and typically reinvest any profits in furthering their social, environmental or cultural objectives. The term encompasses voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprises, co‑operatives and mutual societies, both large and small. This is distinct from the responsibility that the Third Sector has when providing services on commission for and/or in lieu of services provided by and for local authorities under their statutory obligations.