Child Protection Guidance 2021

Cover 1
Contents 2
Ministerial Foreword 7
Introduction 8
Purpose 8
Principles underpinning this Guidance 8
Engagement with children in child protection 9
Engagement with families in child protection 9
Structure and content: what has changed? 12
Part 1: The Context for Child Protection 13
Key Definitions and Concepts 14
Definitions of ‘child’ 14
Definitions of parents and carers 16
What is child abuse and child neglect? 18
What is child protection? 20
What is harm and significant harm in a child protection context? 21
What is a named person, lead professional and child’s plan? 24
What is the child protection register? 26
Workforce 31
Child’s experience 28
Information Sharing: Inter-Agency Principles 33
Records management 36
Legislation relating to Child Protection 39
Duties to protect 39
Part 2A: Roles and responsibilities for child protection 44
Collective Responsibilities for Child Protection 45
Leadership in child protection: Chief Officer’s Groups and Child Protection Committees 45
Self-evaluation and inspection 47
Learning and development 48
Support for practitioners: supervision 49
Single-Agency Responsibilities for Child Protection 50
Local authority education services 51
Early learning and childcare 52
Grant Aided Special Schools (GASS) 52
Independent schools 52
Police Service of Scotland (‘Police Scotland’) 53
British Transport Police (BTP) 55
Health services 55
Chief/Consultant/Lead Nurse for child protection 56
Lead Doctor for child protection 57
Child Protection Advisor (CPA) 57
Paediatricians with a Special Interest in Child Protection (PwSICP) 57
Paediatricians 58
Antenatal and maternity care 59
Midwives 59
Health Visitor 59
Family Nurse 59
School Nurse 60
General Practitioners 60
Emergency health care services 60
Emergency Departments 60
GP Out of Hours Services 61
Scottish Ambulance Service 61
NHS 24 61
Community pharmacy services 62
Dental care practitioners 62
Mental health services 62
Addiction services 62
Adult healthcare providers 63
Other health services 63
Local authority children and families social work 63
Social work justice services 65
Adult health and social care services 65
Learning disability services 65
Third Sector 65
Young carers services 66
National Carer Organisations 66
Children’s hearings system 67
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Services 69
Carers looking after children away from home 70
Social housing 70
Private landlords 70
Community safety services 70
Scottish Prison Service 71
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) 71
Faith organisations 71
The defence community 72
Culture and leisure services 72
Sport organisations and clubs 72
Wider Planning Links 73
Public protection 74
Community Justice Partnerships 76
Violence Against Women Partnerships 77
Alcohol and Drug Partnerships 77
For all services and practitioners 78
Part 2B: Approach to Multi-Agency Assessment in Child Protection 79
Introduction 80
Using GIRFEC components in assessment 81
Strength-based approaches 84
Contextual safeguarding 85
Capacity to change 86
A learning culture in child protection 87
Part 3: Identifying and Responding to Concerns about Children 92
Relationship with previous sections 93
Initiating child protection procedures 94
Professional judgement about risk of significant harm 95
Practice points relevant at any time 96
Inter-agency referral discussions (IRD) 97
Joint Investigative Interviews (JII) 102
Health assessment and medical examination 105
Emergency legal measures to protect children at risk of significant harm 109
Interim Safety Plan 114
Involving children and families in child protection processes 115
Learning from adapted practice during the COVID-19 pandemic 117
Child protection assessment and planning 118
Child Protection Planning Meetings 122
Assessment and planning: prompts to reflection 128
Chronologies 129
Child giving evidence in criminal and civil proceedings 131
General principles 134
Criminal injuries compensation 135
Child Protection Process 136-137
Part 4: Specific Support Needs and Concerns 138
Introduction 139
Poverty 139
When services find it hard to engage 140
Protection of disabled children 141
Parents with learning disabilities 144
Impact of mental health or health problems on children 145
Children and young people experiencing mental health problems 146
Suicide and self-harm affecting children 148
Responding to neglect and emotional abuse 149
Domestic abuse 153
Children and families affected by alcohol and drug use 158
Physical abuse, equal protection, and restraint 160
When obesity is a cause for escalating concerns about risk of harm 163
Child sexual abuse 164
Child sexual exploitation 170
Indecent images and internet-enabled sexual offending by adults 174
Children and young people who have displayed harmful sexual behaviour 175
Child protection in the digital environment/online safety 179
Under-age sexual activity 181
Pre-birth assessment and support 183
Children who are looked after away from home 185
Reunification or ‘return home’ 188
Preventing the repeated removal of children 189
Children and young people who are missing 189
Protecting unaccompanied asylum-seeking and trafficked children 193
Child trafficking and child criminal exploitation 196
Protection in transitional phases 200
Bullying 201
Hate crime 202
Serious harmful behaviour shown by children above and below the age of criminal responsibility 203
Vulnerability to being drawn into terrorism 205
Complex investigations 205
Female genital mutilation 207
Honour-based abuse and forced marriage 210
Fabricated or induced illness 212
Sudden unexpected death in infants and children 213
Community 215
Cultural and faith communities 215
Children and families in the defence community 217
Child protection in the context of disasters and public emergencies 218
Historical (non-recent) reports of abuse 219
Child protection themes 222
Appendices 223
Appendix A: Glossary of terms 223
Appendix B: Acronyms 226
Appendix C: Legislation – list of other relevant legislation 228
Appendix D: Timescales for stages in child protection processes 230
Appendix E: United Nations Convention On the Rights Of The Child 231
Appendix F: Resources and references 233
References: Introduction and Part 1 233
References: Part 2A 235
References: Part 2B 237
References: Part 3 239
References: Part 4 240
Appendix G: Armed Forces child protection contacts 271
Appendix H: Reporting a child concern to child protection services 273
Appendix I: Practice insights introduction 274