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 3

Data Collection, Evidence Gathering, Involvement of/Consultation with Stakeholder Groups - key questions

1. What does the evidence tell you?
The evidence base may include demographic information, academic research, service monitoring/inspection reports, service evaluation reports, user surveys etc. Identify any gaps in the evidence base. In particular, look at what the evidence tells you about children and young people's views and experiences of the relevant service(s); and/or what it tells you about children and young people's views of the policy proposal

The extant evidence demonstrates that there is some analytic difficulty in assessing how widespread neglect and other child protection concerns are. Accordingly the population of children and young people about whom we are concerned cannot be defined at the outset, which accordingly presents both structural and logistical difficulties in respect of both service and resource planning. Nevertheless, the sources of evidence identified at stage 2 (the scoping stage) of this impact assessment, broadly acknowledge that the GIRFEC policy umbrella and its associated institutional architecture, is suitably placed to deal with this uncertainty, given the focus on early identification and prevention activity, which can diminish reliance on more resource intensive downstream interventions and which promotes better, healthier and happier lives for children overall.

Officials have approached the children's sector, through the Programme's External Advisory Group to solicit further evidence-informed practice on how we successfully design inclusive environments through which children and young people have the space and the confidence to contribute to public consultation and policy development, both in relation to CPIP and in respect of the broader policy environment. Valuable learning in this regard has been taken from the Everyone has a Story action learning project, run by Lloyds Partnership Drugs Initiative; officials will seek further engagement directly with children's groups to discuss the recommendations emerging from CPIP and their implementation.

2. What further data or evidence is required?
Is the evidence up to date, robust and reliable, sufficiently relevant to what is being proposed, or do you need to commission new research?

The distinct analytic focus of much of CPIP coalesces about how GIRFEC's twin aims of early intervention and prevention are effectively embedded within local structures and processes, thereby improving practice responses to child protection concerns, broadly conceived. In order to effectively do this, many of CPIP's work streams are concerned with improving the efficiency and effectiveness of leadership, governance and data collection within the various systems that comprise the overarching Child Protection system, at both national and local levels. Accordingly much of the programme has been designed to elicit further evidence by directly testing and evaluating with stakeholders, in localised settings, relevant change processes.

Weaknesses with existing data collection, at a national level, have been highlighted, and recommendations from the data and evidence workstream of the programme will consider how we remedy this. Further detail on the evidence we collect in respect of children and families and the prevalence of protected characteristics, is detailed in the accompanying Equalities Impact Assessment.

3. Has there been any consultation on the development of the proposal(s)?
Public or targeted consultation with children and young people, their parents/carers, the children's workforce - is there enough information on the views of the children and young people who will be affected by the policy/measure?

Detailed consultation with stakeholders and experts took place in the articulation of the Cabinet Secretary's statement to Parliament in February 2016, in which was set out the broad principles of the current Programme. Additionally, the Programme's governance structure utilises formal continuous feedback mechanisms in the form of the Internal and External Advisory Groups, which comprise expert stakeholders and interested parties. Further public consultation will be held on any proposals emerging from the recommendations presented at the end of Phase One, including formal consultation on any legislative proposals emerging from the review of s. 12 of the 1937 Act.

4. Should children and young people be further involved in the development of this policy? Are there particular groups of children and young people whose views should be sought?
Specify how - outline the purpose, format, timetable and the questions you want to ask

Harnessing the voice of the child is a distinct policy priority and research focus of the Programme, as indicated in response to 'question 1 above'. An early priority of the Programme is to design mechanisms for engaging with children directly, taking into account the risks attendant upon re-traumatising and re-victimising children with experience of formal child protection systems. During the first stage of the Programme we both consulted children and young people directly, for example with the development of the Internet Safety Action Plan, and planned for the development of a strategic approach to allowing children and young people with lived experience to feed into policy development going forward.

5. Should other stakeholders and experts be further involved in the development of this policy?
Specify how - outline the purpose, format, timetable and the questions you want to ask

The programme management team will continue to monitor the composition of the internal and external advisory groups. At this time we have identified the need to engage more closely with clinicians and adult social work services, given the evident overlap between child protection issues, substance misuse issues and mental health.


Email: Francois Roos,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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