Protecting Scotland's young people

Swinney announces chair of Review at summit of Child Protection leaders.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney today announced an independent chair to review Child Protection in Scotland as he addressed more than 100 senior leaders from across Scotland who gathered in Perth for a summit as part of the Child Protection Improvement Programme.

The summit, first announced in February, saw key child protection leaders gather to discuss how further improvements can be made to Scotland’s child protection system. Mr Swinney used his speech to announce former Procurator Fiscal and Chief Executive of the Crown Office, Catherine Dyer, will chair the independent child protection review.

Speaking at the summit Mr Swinney, said:

“Our children and young people in Scotland are often faced with difficult and complex circumstances. Many children grow up affected by mental health issues, parental alcohol and substance misuse, domestic violence and poverty. We need to ensure we are doing our best to protect these most vulnerable children and young people.

”Child protection is the responsibility of every person in society, but we must also accept that those of us in leadership positions over services charged with child protection, bear a particular responsibility.

“That is why this summit is a leadership summit. One of the core elements of the improvement programme is a renewed focus on leadership. It is essential for leaders in child protection to have a clear vision of the many challenges faced, and how best to respond to these.”

He continued:

“An essential part of the child protection improvement programme is a review of policy, practice, services and structures so that we can identify strengths, achievements and priorities for change. We will look at child protection committees, initial case reviews, significant case reviews and the child protection register to ensure that they work together to create a holistic, coherent and responsive child protection system that optimises outcomes for children.

“I am pleased to announce today that this review will be independently chaired by Catherine Dyer, who brings a wealth of experience from her time as Chief Executive of the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service. She will bring the expertise, experience and independence this sensitive task needs.”

Notes to editors


On 25 February 2016 then 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 increased 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.

Gurjit Singh – 07810 507 014


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