What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?
The Programme is ambitious, nevertheless our starting point is to consolidate and champion the existing good practice that is evident within Scotland's child protection activity, by promoting a culture of continuous learning and development and the sharing of promising practice.
Making the most effective use of extant data and undertaking work to consider where there are gaps in the data picture presents some challenges, particularly in terms of establishing linkages between data sets and producing robust qualitative and quantitative analyses to inform both national policy and local service delivery. We know in relation to neglect for instance that estimates of prevalence vary widely between assumptions drawn variously from child protection register statistics, referrals to the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration and self-reported academic surveys.
Areas of priority focus on the Programme include investment in encouraging cultural change to ensure that service delivery is underpinned by a strong service user focus and that the potential of GIRFEC as a national policy approach is fully exploited. Furthermore, engendering cultural change is necessary to ensure that effective learning is elicited from quality inspections and that leaders empower the workforce to make authoritative practice decisions. The Programme's outcomes rely upon wide-ranging and sustained engagement with the whole children's services sector and beyond, co-ordinating our communications efforts and synthesising the feedback from these is a significant logistical challenge.
Finally, it must be acknowledged that there continues to be significant pressure on human, physical and financial resources at all levels.
Email: Francois Roos, Child_Protection@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House