Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 3: Identifying and responding to concerns about children 88 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 Initiating child protection procedures 3.1 Concerns about possible harm to a child from abuse, neglect or exploitation should always be shared with police or social work, without delay. Appendix H is a checklist to support efficient communication of essential information. 3.2 Child protection procedures are initiated when police, social work or health determine that a child may have been significantly harmed or may be at risk of significant harm. 3.3 Concerns about a risk of harm from abuse, neglect or exploitation may arise in a number of ways including: • because of what a child has said • over a period of time • in response to a particular incident • as a result of direct observations • through reports from family, from a third party, or from an anonymous source • if children are known to social work or have an existing child’s plan • through notification that a child may become a member of the same household as a child in respect of whom any of the offences mentioned in Schedule 1 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 has been committed, or as a person who has committed any of the offences mentioned in Schedule 1 3.4 All concerns which may indicate risk of significant harm must lead to an inter-agency referral discussion (IRD) as described below. 3.5 Where there is a named person or person in an equivalent role, they should be notified. A named person is a professional point of contact in universal services, both to support children and their parents/carers when there is a need, and to act as a point of contact for other practitioners who may have a concern about the child’s safety and wellbeing. In areas where there is no named person it may be necessary to identify someone known or trusted to the child or family, or someone who can be a point of contact for other practitioners. Agency records will be checked for relevant information that may assist in placing a concern in context, and that may inform next steps.