Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 2A: Roles and responsibilities for child protection 60 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 2.140 The Third Sector provides a wide spectrum of services for children and young people, including nurseries, residential care, pre-school play groups, parenting and family support, youth work and other youth services, befriending, counselling, respite care, foster care, adoption, through-care and after-care, advocacy, helplines and education. Some services are provided substantially by volunteers, particularly in relation to youth work (e.g. Scouts Scotland and Guiding Scotland) and helplines (e.g. Childline). Parents can be supported to be effective advocates for other parents. 2.141 The Third Sector includes charities providing a range of specialised services for children and families. These often deploy both professional staff and volunteers. The Third Sector also provides crucial recovery services, for example, in relation to experiences of abuse, addiction and mental ill health. Some provide crucial support for children and adults in the early stages of protective processes. Voluntary organisations are often in an ideal position to engage with those children and families who require support for engagement with statutory services. 2.142 The Third Sector plays an essential role in providing, flexible and collaborative support for children and families for a wide range of reasons. Many voluntary organisations will have direct or indirect engagement with children, young people and parents, even if this is not their principal activity. Providers of services to adults – for example in relation to housing and tenancy support, mental health, disability, and drug and alcohol problems – may become concerned about children or adults within a family, without necessarily having seen the children. Commissioned and non-commissioned services should have organisational policies and protocols in relation to child protection. Anyone who has cause for concern about a child or adult at risk of harm should share information according to their organisation’s local protocol. Within adult services, consideration should be given to the impact of the additional needs or potential risks relating to a significant person in the child’s world. Young carers services 2.143 Young carers are often identified by adult support services working with an adult in the family. A young carer becomes vulnerable when their caring role risks impacting upon their emotional or physical wellbeing, and their prospects in education and life. When assessing the wellbeing of a young carer under the age of 18 under section 96(1) of The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, a person should assess their wellbeing with reference to the eight wellbeing indicators in section 96(2). Section 12 of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 provides that young carers have a right to a young carer’s statement, prepared by a responsible authority (either a health board or local authority, depending on whether the child is pre-school or not). Where a child has a plan, it is good practice to integrate the statement within the plan. 2.144 Practitioners in other local authority services may encounter situations where a child may be at risk of harm. The local authority should ensure that practitioners are aware of child protection procedures, and are confident about how to respond to child protection concerns. National Carer Organisations 2.145 National Carer Organisations in Scotland are diverse in structure, size and areas of work. Collectively, they form an important network, supporting and working with unpaid carers; providing them with information and advice. Through support for carers, to varying extent, they have a collaborative role in safeguarding the wellbeing of children; and of young people moving on to adult life and services.