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Reporting concerns

If you are concerned about a child and would like to know who to contact visit:

This website also has a range of information on child protection issues for the public and children themselves, with useful links to other websites offering child protection advice.

Related topics

Child Protection - latest updates

Child Protection Improvement Programme Updates

View the latest update on the Child Protection Improvement Programme here, or sign up to receive regular updates on work as it progresses.

The latest update includes;

  • An update on the individual areas of work within the CPIP

  • A biography of the System Review Group independent chair, Catherine Dyer

  • A summary note of the second meeting of the External Advisory Group

  • Information on the Data & Evidence work being carried out within the Programme

Next Steps

The Child Protection Team will submit their report on the Child Protection Improvement Programme to Ministers by 23 December 2016. The report will include a section on each of the 9 key areas of work the Child Protection Team are taking forward. These are: Neglect, Child Sexual Exploitation, Child Trafficking, Data and Evidence, Systems Review, Children's Hearings, Leadership and Workforce Development, Inspections and Internet Safety.

The Child Protection Improvement Programme will enter into ‘Stage Two’ once Minister’s reflections on recommendations have been received after the festive break and a further meeting of the External Advisory Group will take place in the first quarter of 2017 to continue work on taking them forward.

New member of the Child Protection Team

The Child Protection team are pleased to welcome Belinda McEwan to the team as Social Work adviser. Belinda is seconded to the Scottish Government from Renfrewshire Council, working three days per week with the Child Protection team and two days per week supporting the work of Social Work Scotland. Belinda’s knowledge and experience will be put to good use across all of the areas of the programme and in particular focus on Child Trafficking.

Awareness raising campaign on child sexual exploitation

The Scottish Government ran a campaign in January 2016 raising awareness of what child sexual exploitation (CSE) is, improving public understanding, and empowering those with concerns to act upon them. It included a new TV advert – a UK first in terms of targeting parents on the subject of CSE – supported by outdoor and digital advertising, a new website, and PR activity.
Find out more on the csethesigns.scot website

Scoping Study on a Proposed Centre for Excellence for a Child’s Wellbeing

Romy Langeland was asked by the Scottish Government to consider whether the approach to the provision of external expertise through WithScotland, the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice (CYCJ) and the Centre of Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS) was the most effective and efficient for future delivery of government priorities.  Importantly, we wanted to know how our approach of funding and supporting three separate centres addressed the need to put the child at the centre of decisions made about them. You can view the report here alongside the Scottish Government response.

Child Protection Improvement Programme

On 25 February 2016 the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance, made a statement to Parliament announcing a programme of action on child protection.

The Scottish Government will commission a comprehensive review of policy, practice, services and structures in our current child protection system to identify strengths, achievements and priorities for change with recommendations made by the end of 2016. There will be a focus on:

  • Child Protection Committees
  • Initial Case Reviews
  • Significant Case Reviews
  • The Child Protection Register

This will be backed by tougher scrutiny through a revised inspection programme, steps to promote and support leadership action to address the impact of neglect on children, work on data and evidence and consideration of the impact of changes of legislation and practice in the Children’s Hearings System.

Strengthening support for vulnerable children and young people

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance MSP, made a speech to the International Federation of Social Workers on Monday 7 September 2015. She acknowledged in the speech that there are considerable strengths and positives in Scotland’s child protection system and that Scotland has a highly skilled workforce. However, she highlighted that the Brock Report (November 2014) and the Care Inspectorate’s Triennial Review (August 2015) highlighted areas of concern which must be tackled and announced that the Scottish Government will develop a programme of action to strengthen the support for vulnerable children and young people in Scotland. This will be done in partnership with those working in the sector and the Cabinet Secretary will return to Parliament in February 2016 to update MSPs on how this work will be taken forward.
Read the Cabinet Secretary's speech to the International Federation of Social Workers
Read the news release on the progress on the Brock report and CSE national action plan

Progress on Brock report and CSE national action plan

This report is the first step in the programme of action to strengthen the support for vulnerable children and young people announced by Ms Constance on 7 September 2015. The report provides an update on progress made in protecting vulnerable children and young people in Scotland in the past year in respect of the Brock Report “Safeguarding Scotland’s vulnerable children from child abuse” and the National Action Plan to Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). Both reports were published in November 2014 and included recommendations on how to improve the safety of children and ensure children’s services were working well together.

This report highlights the progress made since last year, including:

  • A summit held in February bringing together local authorities, health boards and Child Protection Committee Chairs to share best practice. Another will be held in February 2016.
  • A steering group established to oversee the implementation of the Brock recommendations.
  • Police Scotland’s National Child Abuse Investigation Unit is now fully operational.
  • A national public awareness campaign on CSE launching in January 2016.
  • A programme of work to raise awareness of CSE amongst night time economy workers beginning next year.

Read the progress report on the national action plan and Brock report

Revised Significant Case Reviews Guidance

The revised guidance aims to improve consistency and practice and takes account of all changes in policy, practice and legislation. It replaces the National interim guidance for undertaking SCRs published in 2007.

A Significant Case Review (SCR) is a multi-agency process for establishing the facts of a situation where a child has died or been significantly harmed, within a child protection context, in order to learn lessons on how to better protect children and young people in Scotland.

National interim guidance for undertaking SCRs was introduced in 2007. However, a key finding of a research study, commissioned by the Scottish Government in 2012, found that there was inconsistency in the way in which reviews were being undertaken across Scotland and recommended that the SCR guidance be revised.

More on this topic

  • Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

    Information on a national public inquiry into historical abuse of children in institutional care in Scotland

  • Child Protection Work

    Information on work being carried out in the Child Protection Improvement Programme and on Child Affected by Substance Misuse.