Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 2A: Roles and responsibilities for child protection 71 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 Violence Against Women Partnerships 2.211 Equally Safe, the Scottish Government and COSLA’s joint strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls (VAWG), was launched in 2014 and revised in 2016, with a delivery plan p ublished in 2017. Equally Safe sets out a shared understanding of the causes, risk factors and scale of the problem, and highlights that violence against women and girls is underpinned by gender inequality. Prevention necessitates tackling perpetrators and intervening early. The strategy reflects the particular experiences of children and young people who may be subject to gendered violence, and recognises children as victims of domestic abuse and coercive control, irrespective of their gender. 2.212 Violence Against Women Partnerships (VAW Partnerships) are the multi-agency mechanism delivering on the strategy at a local level. The Scottish Government and COSLA’s expectation is that every local authority should have a VAW Partnership with a strategic plan and designated co‑ordinator for collaboration between public sector and Third Sector organisations (Violence Against Women Partnership Guidance) . Alcohol and Drug Partnerships 2.213 Problematic alcohol and/or drug use is often a long-term, hidden problem, and can lead to sustained issues of child neglect or abuse. Collaborative practice across child and adult services should encompass planning with services, such as adult social care and housing. This will increase the ability of services to identify children at risk from parental alcohol and drug use, and ensure that adequate and early plans are in place to support them. In early 2009, the Scottish Government, in partnership with COSLA, published A New Framework for Local Partnerships on Alcohol and Drugs. This was updated in 2019. ‘Rights, respect and recovery’ (Scottish Government 2018) is the national strategy to improve health by preventing and reducing alcohol and drug use, harm and related deaths. 2.214 Alcohol and Drug Partnerships and Child Protection Committees should develop local protocols to support relevant, proportionate and necessary information sharing between drug and alcohol services and children and families services. Protocols should define standard terms and processes within assessment, co‑ordinated planning, and response to risk of harm to a child, including response to concerns during pregnancy. Specialist, Third Sector and adult support services must all be aware of the potential risks and needs of children affected. Accountability for implementation, monitoring and progression of partnership protocols should be clear. 2.215 Multi-agency child protection training should be a standard part of the planning, commissioning and delivery of adult drug and alcohol services.