National guidance for child protection in Scotland 2021

This guidance describes the responsibilities and expectations for all involved in protecting children and will support the care and protection of children.

Appendix H: Reporting a child concern to child protection services

Concerns about harm to a child from abuse, neglect, exploitation or violence should be reported without delay to social work or in situations where risk is immediate, to Police Scotland. Prompts below are not an assessment. They may support accuracy in an initial outline of concerns, assisting prompt, efficient response. Local reporting protocols apply.

Name role/contact details of person reporting concern

Key contacts

  • Name of the child, age, date of birth and home address if possible
  • Name/address/phone of parents/carers or guardians
  • Culture/language/understanding: any considerations in communication?
  • Name of child's school, nursery/ early learning centre or childcare
  • Is it known if the child is on the Child Protection register?

Immediate needs and concerns

  • What is the nature of the child protection concern?
  • Where is the child now?
  • How is he/she now?
  • Physically: does he/she have any known injuries or immediate health needs and do they require medical treatment?
  • Emotionally: how is he/she right now and what does she/he need immediately for their reassurance/understanding?
  • Communication and understanding; is he/she able to communicate without interpreting/without additional support for communication?
  • Is the child safe now?
  • If not, in your view, is there action that might be taken to make them safe?

Record of concerns

  • When did these concerns first come to light? What happened? (For example because of an injury? through what this or another child has said? because of how a child appears? or due to e.g. parental behaviour?)
  • Is a person are persons are believed to be responsible for harm to a child?
  • If so, is/are their name/address/occupation/relationship to the child known?
  • Are you aware if this person has/these persons have access to other children? (Name, age and address details of such children if available?)
  • If the concern was raised by this child then who has spoken to him/her?
  • Is the person who has spoken to the child available to be spoken with?
  • What has the child said to this point? (Please note and share)
  • What he/she has been asked, when and by whom? (Please note and share)
  • If concerns were not reported when they first arose, was there a reason for this and what has prompted reporting now?

Agreed actions (following this initial communication)



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