On 25th February 2016, the then Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance MSP, announced a National Child Protection Improvement Programme for Scotland (CPIP). This programme includes existing commitments on child sexual exploitation; child trafficking; and internet safety, along with a number of new areas of work. These include: a review of practice in the Children’s Hearings System; agreeing steps to promote and support leadership; refreshing the role of inspection agencies; improving data and evidence; agreeing further action to address the impact of neglect on children and young people; and a review looking at how the child protection system currently works and what could be improved across Scotland.
A Child Protection Systems Review Group was established with representation from a wide range of professionals with child protection expertise at a national and local level, and independently chaired by Catherine Dyer (Former Crown Agent and Chief Executive of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service). The Review Group was asked by Ministers to look at the operation of the formal child protection system - including Child Protection Committees, Child Protection Registers and case conferences, and Initial and Significant Case Reviews - and to recommend what changes or improvements might be needed to these underpinning processes and structures in order to protect children and young people more effectively.
This report outlines the matters considered by the Review Group, their conclusions and subsequent recommendations.