Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 2A: Roles and responsibilities for child protection 65 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 2.172 Local partnerships have a key role in the development of preventative strategies and public communications to help families, schools and communities to be safe places, in tackling exploitation, and in promoting safety and wellbeing at individual, family and community levels. Scottish Prison Service 2.173 The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is an agency of the Scottish Government and was established in 1993. The purpose of the SPS is to maintain secure custody and good order within prisons, whilst caring for prisoners with humanity and delivering opportunities which give the best chance to reduce reoffending once a prisoner returns to the community. The key issues in relation to children with parent(s) in the criminal justice system is to provide support to children at every stage of the criminal justice system, ensuring that parent-child relationships are maintained even when the parent is in long-term custody or prison. Where a child is considered at risk, the response should be timely, appropriate and proportionate in line with the approach set out in GIRFEC. SPS has a child protection policy which sits within a families strategy. Every establishment has a Designated Child Protection Co‑ordinator. Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) 2.174 Alongside their central role in protecting children and families through fire prevention and response, when members of the SFRS encounter situations that cause them to have concerns about the wellbeing or safety of a child they must pass that information to the relevant services. If a child is in imminent risk, for example in the case of a threat to life or where there may have been criminality, the police should be informed without delay. Through community safety work SFRS engages with individuals and groups to address wider inequalities by helping to tackle antisocial behaviour, reduce reoffending, and by working in partnership to tackle domestic violence. Faith organisations 2.175 Religious leaders, practitioners and volunteers within faith organisations have a unifying priority in relation to the protection of children. They may provide regulated care as well as a wide range of voluntary support services. Faith organisations including churches provide carefully planned activities for children, supporting families under stress and caring for those hurt by abuse in the past, as well as ministering to and managing those who have caused harm. 2.176 Within these varied roles, all reasonable steps must be taken to provide a safe environment that promotes and supports the wellbeing of children and young people. This includes careful selection and appointment of those who work with children. It also means ensuring practitioners and volunteers are confident about how to respond promptly, in line with agreed protocols, when concerns arise about risk of harm to a child from abuse or neglect. Child protection co‑ordinators and safeguarding advisers should be available for consultation within faith organisations. They will work with social workers and police officers as and when required. Practitioners and volunteers with church and faith organisations must report concerns about harm to a child to their line manager or safeguarding/child protection co‑ordinator. The safety of the child or adult at risk is the priority. Further considerations on faith and cultural communities may be found in Part 4 of this Guidance.