Child trafficking guardians: consultation

A consultation on the implementation of Section 11 of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015: the appointment and role of independent child trafficking guardians.

Part Two: Guidance

The Scottish Government proposes to issue supporting guidance written in conjunction with local authorities and any other relevant authorities relating to (amongst other things):

  • what constitutes a victim of trafficking or a potential victim of trafficking;
  • whom the duty to refer a young person to a guardian applies; and
  • the offer of support from a child trafficking guardian.

Part Two of this consultation seeks wider views on the roles, responsibilities, and functions of a child trafficking guardian that may be included in this guidance. Consultation responses in this section will inform the development of the wider responsibilities of the child trafficking guardian and ensure that the best possible support is in place for trafficked children.

Question 8: Support for victims of child trafficking

As has been indicated, child victims of trafficking who enter the formal care system often have additional complex support needs beyond support for asylum, trafficking and welfare processes. These require specific support from a wide range of services. A guardian will be well-placed to ascertain what additional support is required for each individual young person and in partnership with social work would be able to signpost or commission services as required.

Examples of the kinds of support that could be considered include (but are not limited to) language interpretation, trauma support, providing English tuition (ESOL), further education and valuable socialization opportunities.

What are some of the additional support measures that a child trafficking guardian could provide, or facilitate provision of, to best support trafficked children?

Question 9: Support to prevent re-trafficking

Once a young person has successfully attained Settled Status and the child trafficking guardian's support has concluded, there is significant risk that young people may find themselves at risk of being re-trafficked if additional monitoring and support is not provided.

What additional support, if any, could the child trafficking guardian provide to minimize the risk of vulnerable young people being re-trafficked?

Question 10: Appeal Rights Exhausted

When a young person in receipt of support from a child trafficking guardian has their asylum/immigration application refused, and have exhausted all their rights to appeal that decision, they are deemed 'Appeal Rights Exhausted' and unlikely to hold any valid immigration status.

Social work still have a statutory duty to provide support and assistance to Appeal Rights Exhausted children and young people as they are still likely to have support needs. It is also likely that a child or young person in this position will still require the additional support that is provided by an ICTG.

What support for Appeal Rights Exhausted children and young people would you propose that an ICTG provide, and what additional support arrangements (if any) could be put in place to help the ICTG provide that support?

Question 11: Data Sharing

The legislation states that a person responsible for exercising functions in relation to a child for whom a child trafficking guardian has been appointed (for example social worker, teacher, health worker, etc.) must recognise and pay due regard to the guardian's function and where appropriate provide the guardian with access to information regarding the child as will allow the guardian to provide appropriate support for the child or young person.

What information needs to be shared between the statutory professionals supporting the child/young person and the independent child trafficking guardian (whilst adhering to data protection and other information sharing principles)?

Question 12: Conduct

Given the statutory nature of the ICTG, it is important to ensure that appropriate measures are in place in the situation where there is a concern raised regarding the conduct of a child trafficking guardian. It is important to have procedures in place to ensure quality assurance, professional standards and the safeguarding of the children and young people, and to provide a framework for potential complaints or grievances.

In the event that it is necessary for a complaint or grievance to be made about a child trafficking guardian, what procedures and processes should the service provider have in place to ensure accountability and quality improvement of the ICTGs and the service?



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