Child protection learning and development 2024: national framework

Framework to support multi-agency learning and development relevant to child protection in Scotland. This highlights key learning for all workforces according to the level of responsibility they have for child protection.

This document is part of a collection

Section 2: Purpose of the Framework

2.1 The purpose of the Framework is to provide a resource which clarifies where child protection learning and development is required and to support those responsible for meeting those requirements. It also aims to:

  • promote collaborative multi-agency practice to support children's wellbeing, welfare and protection
  • support the multi-agency task of assessing, managing and addressing identified need or risk to children, young people or parents/carers
  • provide a multi-agency learning and development framework adaptable for local learning and development strategies and evaluation
  • contribute to best practice through the development of a competent and confident workforce
  • support the design, implementation and evaluation of multi-agency child protection learning
  • establish agreed competencies, identifying the relevant knowledge and skills required, according to the roles and responsibilities of the various groups that make up multi-agency workforces, including those likely to encounter children, young people and their families as part of their day-to-day work
  • emphasise the importance of shared learning and collaborative practice to achieve better outcomes for children

Leadership support

2.2 The primary focus of this Framework is on workforce learning and development and the Framework strongly emphasises the need for conversation, collaboration and partnership working amongst professional groups at every level. To deliver high quality learning and development opportunities across workforces and to achieve a confident and competent professional workforce, there is a need for clear endorsement and support within the leadership of all multi-agency partners. This is particularly relevant to supporting staff participation in multi-agency child protection learning events, which usually offer a richer understanding of professional roles, responsibilities and expertise, as well as modelling the message that child protection is everyone's business.

2.3 As per the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 – updated 2023, paragraph 2.30, Child Protection Committees (CPCs) should have an overview of the training needs of all practitioners involved in child protection activity. Specific learning and development responsibilities of CPCs are outlined on page 16 of the Protecting Children and Young People guidance for CPCs and Chief Officers. CPCs are responsible for publishing, implementing and reviewing an inter-agency child protection learning and development strategy. They should quality assure and evaluate the impact of that learning and development activity. The CPC learning and development strategy's aim is to ensure that each partner has a suitably skilled, confident and competent workforce to deliver the CPC's priorities and meet the needs for children and young people in their area.

2.4 While this Framework is written very much from a multi-agency perspective, directed at staff already in the workforce, it is worth noting the benefits of inclusion and participation of professional students e.g. student teachers, social workers, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals/other NHS students and probationary police officers. The primary responsibility for student learning clearly lies with their education provider, but where students join organisations for the length of any practice placement, leaders within organisations should enable multi-agency learning and development events to be inclusive. This ensures not only additional learning and development around child protection, but also the opportunity to reflect on practice alongside experienced colleagues from their own and partner agencies. It also gives students (of whatever professional group) the opportunity to see the learning and development provision across agencies, which may be supportive in the recruitment and retention of staff.

2.5 Alongside professional learning, it is entirely possible that the wider messaging to the general public happens through conversations with colleagues, family and friends, extending the key messages beyond workforces into the public mind. The Protecting Scotland's Children and Young People: It is Still Everyone's Job, as well as the Framework For Standards, have both reiterated a collective message to Scotland highlighting child protection awareness with everyone, including the general public.



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