Child Protection Guidance 2021

National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 2 Version 1.0 September 2021 Introduction Introduction Purpose 1. This non-statutory national Guidance describes responsibilities and expectations for all involved in protecting children in Scotland. The Guidance outlines how statutory and non-government agencies should work together with parents, families and communities to prevent harm and to protect children from abuse and neglect. Everyone has a role in protecting children from harm. 2. The revision forms part of the Scottish Government’s Child Protection Improvement Programme. This version reflects seven years of changes in legislation, as well as standards and policy, developments in practice, findings from research, Significant Case Reviews and Inspections. Review and improvement is a continual process within a complex and contentious practice landscape. 3. Revisions have been informed by a co-productive process. The views of children, families, professionals in the public and Third Sectors, practice educators and community groups have been taken into account. 4. This Guidance recognises that physical and emotional safety provides a foundation for wellbeing and healthy development. There are collective responsibilities to work together to prevent harm from abuse or neglect from pre-birth onwards, including safe transitions of vulnerable young people towards adult life and services. Principles underpinning this Guidance 5. The most effective protection of children involves early support within the family, before urgent action is needed and purposeful use of compulsory measures are necessary. If children do require placement away from home, real protection involves attuned, trauma- informed and sufficiently sustained support towards reunification, or towards an alternative secure home base when this is not possible. 6. The Scottish approach to child protection is based upon the protection of children’s rights. The Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) policy and practice model is a practical expression of the Scottish Government’s commitment to implementation of the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This requires a continuum of preventative and protective work. 7. There are consistent threads running between enabling, preventative and protective work applying the GIRFEC approach. They may be distilled in this way: • the timing, process and content of all assessment, planning and action will apply to the individual child, and to their present and future safety and wellbeing. Their views will be heard and given due consideration in decisions, in accordance with their age, level of maturity, and understanding • services will seek to build on strengths and resilience as well as address risks and vulnerabilities within the child’s world • partnership is promoted between those who care about and have responsibilities for the child – it entails a collaborative approach between professionals, carers and family members