Working with disabled children and young people may involve moving and handling risks. We need to manage these risks effectively – in ways that ensure we do not limit disabled children and young people's opportunities to play, and to have a wide social experience at home, in education and in their community.
The human rights and safety of the child and the worker must be carefully balanced in a way that ensures that both sets of rights are maintained.
The rights of children and young people may not be realised because of common misunderstandings people have about these rights, and the balance required with the
rights of the worker and employers.
These misunderstandings usually come about because:
- People make assumptions about disabled children and young people that can lead to poor practice or discrimination
- People may over-emphasise adverse consequences and think less about the benefits to the child or young person's well-being and their wishes
- People are not clear about all the relevant legislation
- Organisations interpret the legislation differently
- Organisations and individuals are worried that they may be prosecuted if during moving and handling activities they injure a disabled child or young person
- People may be unfamiliar with best practice in assessing and managing risks
- There is a lack of access to competent advice and training in moving and handling people safely.
Moving and handling will be required in a variety of settings to reflect the child's rights to inclusion and wider social experiences. For example, at home, playing with friends at school in break time, shopping with friends or on a school trip.
The rights of children and young people*
The fundamental rights of children and young people in Scotland are enshrined in law  ,  ,  , and  . It is up to everyone involved in supporting children and young people in moving and handling to help balance these rights with the sensible management of risk.
Employers must ensure that workers are not required to perform tasks that put them and the children and young people they care for at unacceptable risk.
*The Scottish Government published a consultation on the Children and Young People Bill in July 2012.