Child Protection Improvement Programme: child rights and wellbeing impact assessment

Assessment of how the Child Protection Improvement Programme affects the rights and wellbeing of children and young people.

CRWIA Stage 2

Scoping - key questions

1. What children's rights are likely to be affected by the policy/measure?
List all relevant Articles of the UNCRC and Optional Protocols (see Annex 1). All UNCRC rights are underpinned by the four general principles: non-discrimination; the best interests of the child; the right to life; survival and development; and the right to have children's views given due weight.

Within the broad spectrum of CPIP, the following substantive rights, inter alia, have been identified as being potentially affected:

Article 2 - Non-discrimination
Article 3 - Best interests of the child
Article 4 - Protection of rights
Article 5 - Parental guidance and a child's evolving capacities
Article 6 - Life, survival and development
Article 11 - measures to combat the illicit transfer/ non return of children
Article 12 - Respect for the views of the child
Article 13 - Freedom of expression
Article 16 - Right to privacy
Article 17 - Access to information; mass media
Article 18(1,2) - Parental responsibilities and state assistance
Article 19 - Protection from all forms of violence
Article 32 - protection from harmful work
Article 34 - Sexual exploitation
Article 35 - measures to prevent abduction/ sale/ trafficking of children
Article 36 - Other forms of exploitation
Article 37(a) - Inhumane treatment and detention
Article 39 - Recovery and rehabilitation of child victims
Article 42 -Knowledge of rights

Optional Protocol to the UNCRC on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

2. How will the policy/measure affect children's wellbeing as defined by the wellbeing indicators?
List all wellbeing indicators relevant to the policy/measure (see Annex 2). The indicators are: Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible and Included.

CPIP is likely to have a positive impact on children at risk of or subject to child abuse as a result of actions across the work streams focussing on improving practice in relation to improving identification of children and young people at risk of abuse and neglect, the awareness and coordination of support available to those at risk of and subject to abuse and neglect and the disruption of perpetrator activity and the strengthening of legislation to better protect children and young people.

CPIP is likely to have a positive impact on children's health as a result of better use of data and evidence to improve coordination and support for children subject to child protection and children's hearings processes and the better identification and implementation of action to address neglect.

CPIP is likely to have an indirect positive impact on children's achievement. We know that there is a significant correlation between poverty, deprivation and neglect and low attainment. [1] Work undertaken as part of this programme to address neglect includes identifying good practice evidence, testing how this can be implemented in the context of different local areas and sharing this knowledge with the broader universal services audience.

CPIP is likely to have a positive impact on children's nurturing. In particular, supporting families to tackle neglect and better awareness of harm and the impact as it relates to CSE, trafficking and online abuse will better equip families to support children and young people at risk.

It is acknowledged however, that for a very small number of children, the strengthened action to identify and disrupt perpetrators in relation to CSE and trafficking could negatively impact on them if a parent/ carer was incarcerated as a result of these actions.

CPIP is most likely to have a neutral impact on children being active although it is possible that actions to tackle neglect, trafficking and CSE could impact on social integration and have an indirectly positive affect.

CPIP is likely to have a positive impact in this area. Whilst the child's voice is threaded through CPIP, the reviews of the Children's Hearing and child protection systems have a particular focus on the participation and position of children.

CPIP is likely to have a neutral impact in this area. It is possible however that for a very small number of children who are perpetrators of trafficking and exploitation which is not related to them being victims of the same that action to tackle trafficking and exploitation could support their identification and prosecution.

CPIP is likely to have a positive impact systemically through the reviews of the child protection and Children's Hearings processes. In addition, provision of better coordinated support in relation to CSE, trafficking and neglect will support the social reintegration of child victims.

3. How many children and young people are likely to be affected by the policy or measure?
List potential sources of official and other data, or note the need to locate this information. Are there different levels of impact for different groups of children?

In June 2014 there were 1,033,183 children (under 18 years old) in Scotland. Of these, 233,984 children were aged 0-3 years and 525,073 children were aged 0-8 years. The number of children aged 0-15 in Scotland is projected to grow by 5%

A child can be defined differently in different legal contexts, accruing rights and responsibilities under the law variously at the ages of 16 or 18.

Whilst improvements made as a result of CPIP are for the benefit of the whole population, it is likely that the children most affected will be those known to services as requiring being at risk or having been subject to child abuse and neglect. It is also possible that improvements resulting from CPIP may well lead to identifying vulnerable and at risk children and young people not currently known to services.

The number of children on the child protection register has fluctuated regularly, but there is a general upwards trend. The total has increased by 34 per cent between 2000 and 2015 (from 2,050 to 2,751). In 2015, 51% of the children on the child protection register were aged under 5; since 2008 there have been more children aged under 5 than over 5 on the child protection register. In 2015 3.0 children for every 1,000 children under 16 were on the child protection register, this varies by local authority between 0.2 per 1,000 children in Eilean Siar, to 6.3 per 1,000 in Clackmannanshire. Although the child protection register numbers are rising, there is an acknowledgement that the variation in numbers across the Scottish local authorities, suggests that they are not wholly reliable indicators of children at risk and/or in need of protection.

4. What research evidence is available?
Preliminary identification of the research base for this policy/measure

Leading work to further improve the child protection system is a manifesto commitment of the current Administration. CPIP constitutes the Scottish Government's response to driving further improvements in the child protection system. It is designed to ensure, that we continue to support and secure both the effective implementation of the recommendations presented in the Brock Report [2] and findings from the Care Inspectorate's Triennial Review. [3] Further, work in the field of child neglect is predicated explicitly on pushing forwards priority findings of the 2012 Review of Child Neglect in Scotland. [4] In addition, the Child Protection Team continues to receive representations from stakeholders in the sector, who are anxious to ensure that we invest sufficient time and resource into efforts to cement further practice improvements in tackling the prevalence and persistence of child neglect.

CPIP has been designed to contribute directly to the delivery of the following national outcomes, a full outline programme structure is appended at Annex A:

1.Our children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed.
2.We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society.
3.We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk.
4.We live our lives safe from crime, disorder and danger.
5.Our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to local people's needs.

Our children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed.

The Scottish Government maintains a progressive, universalist and preventative approach to child wellbeing: Getting it Right for Every Child ( GIRFEC). The provision of timely, appropriate and effective assistance to children and young people in need of help and support is the guiding force of the programme. It will take forward work (in particular in the Systems Review, Leadership and Workforce Development and Neglect work streams) to promote the further embedding of GIRFEC, to prioritise prevention and early intervention strategies, and to ensure effective integration of new practices and processes deriving from phased implementation of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (for example Named Person and the Child's Plan).

We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish Society & We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk.

We are aware that children and young people who face multiple adverse childhood experiences ( ACEs), are significantly more likely to experience diminished life chances well into adulthood. Abuse, dysfunctional home environments and neglect (in all its myriad forms) have been shown to be associated with the development of harmful behaviours. They are also linked to the development of a number of chronic health conditions, increased morbidity and mortality, and poorer educational attainment. The latter, in turn, has a direct impact on social and economic wellbeing, forestalling career opportunities and stifling potential. [5]

The Programme's work to tackle the impact of neglect, by identifying promising practice within localities, testing this and promoting its dissemination across Scotland sits at the heart of minimising the impact of poor, ineffective, ambivalent or abusive parenting on the life chances of our children and young people. Effective and tailored interventions must follow from rigorous assessment of the wider family situation, including parental capacity and willingness to change.

Further, the Leadership and Workforce development work stream will seek to empower practitioners across the spectrum of children's services to deliver Scotland's vision for child protection, ensuring that the right support and monitoring is in place whilst also promoting accountability. Finally, the Data and Evidence workstream will consider how to effectively harness extant sources of data and pinpoint where there is missing data, in order to ensure that the strategic delivery of services is predicated on best evidence.

We live our lives free from crime, disorder and danger

The neglect workstream will consider explicitly the case for reform of section 12, Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937: 'cruelty to young persons under 16'. It will consider the extent to which the offence must now be reformed to encompass modern understandings of child neglect, the interaction of this offence with other (chiefly common law) offences and referrals for 'lack of parental care' to the Children's Hearing's system. Views are being considered from across the spectrum of stakeholder interests, leading to recommendations that will ensure we have balanced and effective legislative provision, which facilitates successful prosecution in the most egregious cases of child neglect.

Work will also be taken forward under the trafficking and child sexual exploitation workstreams to implement the National Action Plan to Prevent and Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation and the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy. In both instances, these actions will support the embedding of recent legislative reform to tackle the scourge of these heinous forms of abuse.

Our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to local people's needs

The Systems Review Group [systems review work stream] will consider the operation of each of the 'formal' components of the existing child protection system to ensure that we have an effective, adaptable and responsive child protection architecture that is capable of meeting the needs placed upon it. In particular, the review will consider how learning is currently captured within those formal components and how it is fed back to promote continuing improvements. Explicit consideration will be given to the need to undertake structural reform that secures effective information sharing and synthesis between relevant organisations, systems and personnel. Further, these priorities will be reflected in work taken forward in the Leadership and Workforce Development and Data and Evidence workstreams to ensure that Scotland's child protection system is underpinned by a robust, challenging and forward looking vision, that the workforce is readily engaged to make best use of available resources and that specific interventions are predicated on the most comprehensive data available.

5. Has there been any public or stakeholder consultations on the policy/measure?
Stakeholders include children and young people, parents/carers, children's workforce, NGOs

The programme has been designed in conjunction with the sector, who continue to provide scrutiny and oversight via the External Advisory Group. In addition, there are specific stakeholder groups in relation to CSE, trafficking and the systems review work streams. Discreet public consultation will be held on any specific recommendation emerging from the programme requiring legislative change. Further, public consultation would be held on any substantive redrafting of The National Guidance.

6. Has there been any estimate of the resource implications of the policy/measure?
Capital costs, expenditure, recruitment and training costs for the workforce etc.

A Programme budget has been allocated from the Child Protection Team programme budget, with resourcing being provided by the team. This budget has been set to cover all direct programme management costs, including the commissioning of services, and of research and improvement activity, undertaken by delivery partners. Further resource implications will be considered as part of the recommendations emerging from the CPIP, which will be delivered to Ministers in December 2016.


Email: Francois Roos,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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